A hilarious, thought-provoking and ultimately poignant documentary about a man, his mistakes, his morals, his values and a subtle jab at the society at large.
OVERALL SCORE -4.5/5
Weiner is a 2016 fly-on-the-wall documentary directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. It follows the life of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner and his doomed mayoral campaign of 2013.
The only thing I knew about Anthony Weiner before watching this documentary was that he was caught up in a sex scandal, he was a disgraced Congressman and John Oliver’s Carlos Danger dance. What I did not know were the lofty heights he was held up to before the scandal broke. He was a respected Congressman who was incendiary but always on point. He was married to Hillary Clinton’s most trusted advisor and a bit of research later, I found out that there were whispers of him being a presidential candidate as well. I was taken aback. I always thought he was a punchline but this was a fully formed individual with great ideas and a great voice who had but one flaw.
The film to me felt like a clinic on why one’s image is such a revered thing in politics. Once a person has a tarnished reputation, it is damn near impossible to build oneself back up. At that one moment, all the good a person has done or can do is out of the door. All that matters is the news of the day. There was a saying at my previous workplace that I used to champion myself, which was “You are only as good as your last shift”. This documentary shows the truth behind that statement.
The only way I can write this review is with a very personal touch. Most people know about this man and his checkered past and they have their opinions about it. My opinion is only that, he was a good man with good intentions who made ridiculously bad choices time after time. To add to the idiom train, there is a very popular saying in Sanskrit which when translated means “During the time of one’s demise, one tries to overwork his intelligence which ultimately ends up biting him in the ass”.
It is so obviously clear, the toll the scandal took on the man’s personal and professional life. The media circus surrounding it coupled with him having the most inopportune of names just would not help his cause. The film is a very well made one of course. It is a deep dive into the psyche of a politician and the people in general. The American political landscape has been a complete roller coaster ride which one can’t help but be a part of and Anthony Weiner’s scandals were a significant part of it.
A few unbiased words of the film, in general, would be, it is fast, funny, insightful, thought-provoking and a supremely well-crafted narrative.
I don’t have the most eloquent words, to sum up, this film. It is just a perfect snapshot of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to politics. With the advantage of hindsight and seeing how the US Presidential Election panned out, I feel bad for Mr. Weiner. Maybe the final quote from Animal Farm is the most fitting of words for his story, All politicians were created equal but some are more equal than others (paraphrasing of course).
This is not to say I don’t object the man’s actions, but I do feel he got the shorter end of the stick when it came to the final outcome.
OVERALL SCORE – 4.5/5
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