Swing Vote

2008-11-04 10:08
What it's about:

A down-and-out working class man (Kevin Costner) is doing a terrible job as a father. His daughter (Madeline Carroll) of 12 has to wake him up, remind him to shower, give him pep talks and register for him to vote. An intelligent young girl, she believes that every citizen’s voice should be heard in an election and insists that her father votes. When her father passes out after drinking too much on voting day, she takes matters into her own hands and sneaks into a poll booth to cast his vote for him. Things go wrong with the ballot machine and although her father is registered as having voted, his vote is not recorded. When the two main presidential candidates come to a tie, it’s his vote that will determine the future of the United States of America.

What we thought of it:

In light of the current US election, Swing Vote has a strong propagandist aftertaste. Essentially a story that preaches the value of every vote in a democratic election, it has the all-too familiar tendency to shove democracy down your throat as an all-American dish.

The far-fetched concept of Swing Vote may be excused, however its romanticism is a little harder to stomach. It lacks real substance, especially since it’s a political film. For a film making a political statement, Swing Vote doesn’t say much more than “democracy rocks, yeah!” It tries to be light hearted and humorous but instead patronises the audience. It’s hard to gauge who this film was made for. It feels like a film made ten years ago for educational purposes to be screened in a grade 7 history class.

Madeline Carroll is a gem. Her performance is almost flawless, very realistic and probably a door opener for many future screen performances. Although Kevin Costner’s performance was no less than the quality we’re used to, it must be said that his decision to take the role was a bad one. Considering the fall his career has already taken, one has to wonder why he not only acted in the film but went so far as to fund it himself when it looked like no one would bankroll it in time for release during the presidential election. It's trendy for Hollywood celebrities to campaign for their favourite presidential candidate, but this is taking it too far.

The film is not terrible, but it’s tactless in its approach to the current political climate in the United States. The blatant protagonist in this film is the dolled-up democratic system. And she certainly gets her happy ending.

Swing Vote drags to a predictable ending, probably because there are too many sub plots. It’s one thing to follow a formula, it’s another to give the story away with a thoughtless title and a series of events so recognisable (despite the not-so-clever distraction of numerous sub plots), even a moron could predict what will happen next.

This film is likely to put you off feeling any interest in the current election in the United States and leave you feeling quite disgusted at the idealistic, unrealistic approach taken. Don’t watch it.

- Natalie Sineke

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In a remarkable turn-of-events, the result of the presidential election comes down to one man's vote.

michael 2008/09/16 9:36 AM
it is a lot of fun to watch I thoroughly enjoyed watching 'Swing Vote'. The acting is funny and personal, most of us will understand what it feels like to think we are so unimportant in an election process. Even if you have no knowledge of the US voting system you should understand all the processes, and you will laugh at the candidates attempts to change their policies just to suit the moment. It is a light hearted and funny attempt to show how over the top the American political system can be, and I think a lot of poeple will enjoy it.
marshall 2008/09/16 10:41 AM
Swing? An interesting film about the pres election is MAN OF THE YEAR. While some will be put off because it stars Robin Williams, it turns out to be an effective little yarn about the technicalities (and moralities) of "The Good Candidate". What would a moral man do?
bianca 2008/09/16 2:27 PM
awesome this movie looks awesome CANT WAIT TO WATCH!!!!!!! kevin costner serious eye candy
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