By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)
Miss Sloane: A Film Confused With a Political Agenda
Miss Sloane is the new political drama/thriller directed by John Madden that stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. This film tells the story of a feared and highly respected lobbyist named Elizabeth Sloane who has battled many giant political opponents before, who then decides to take on the right wing’s gun supporters by passing a gun law titled the Heaton-Harris Amendment. This then takes the audience on this amazing and fast paced thriller that encompasses the themes and setting of the political battleground. This creates an incredible, enthralling, and adrenaline pumping political thriller.
Let me start by giving a small rant about this film by saying that this film has gotten a lot of flak from critics. It currently sits a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.4 out of 10 on IMDB. And, from what I’ve read it seems as if these critics have taken their political beliefs and agendas into the film to critique it. This is insulting to me as a critic, because we as critics are there to criticize the film based purely on its filmmaking and nothing else. You see these types of reviews with films like Lone Survivor, American Sniper, and 13 Hour, because many review these films with a left-wing agenda just as this film was criticized with a right-wing agenda. Nonetheless in my opinion have not read very many reviews on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes that have judged this movie based on its filmmaking. Back to this film and my review on how I loved this film. The filmmaking of this film was really well done in my opinion.
This film has a very fast pace from beginning to end that I found exhilarating, and I know that’s weird to say about a drama, but I was on the edge of my seat throughout this film’s entirety. This is part to the brilliantly done editing of the film. This film is edited so precisely and rapidly, that it creates this sense of unpredictability with the narrative. It also creates a sense of edginess with the tone of the film, as throughout the film you’ll feel like you’re waiting for something to go wrong or a giant crescendo of sorts. This also is in due part to the masterful direction of John Madden who uses great shot sequence to set up more than one narrative driven visual, a visual narrative frame is that if you paused the film on that exact shot you could dissect the frame for not only character analysis but narrative analysis as well. And, he does this multiple times throughout the film where the lighting, shot design, and sound design creates a tone in itself.
The other thing that this film has is incredible performances, especially from Jessica Chastain who gives an incredible performance. I was completely drawn to her character in every way. The other characters in the film are well done as well with great performances from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mark Strong as well. The only flaws I had with this film was that it does suffer from character development as far as how the only character truly developed is that of Elizabeth Sloane and Esme Manucharian. Which at the same time these are the only character we as audience are supposed to be drawn too, but there are certain narrative perspectives that I felt could have been stronger with more strongly developed characters. The only other flaw I found that the fast paced editing of the film could cause some audience members to feel lost in the narrative, because it’s one of those films that’s so fast paced that if you blink you will find yourself lost.
Overall, this film is a beautiful dissection of the political battleground that encompasses Washington, and how we as citizens maybe don’t truly understand what is happening in Washington. This film portrays a adrenaline pumping thriller in this political arena that uses strong performances, rapid editing, and fully encompassing direction to create heart-pounding film. That only suffers from some undeveloped characters and for some audience members maybe too fast of a narrative.
I personally never got lost, but I would understand if that happened to someone in their viewing of the film. I was pumped up and ecstatic from Miss Sloane and I’m going to give this political thriller an A-. What do you think about criticizing a film based on your beliefs? What is your favorite political movie? Let me know down in the comments below and as always have a blessed day.