Lincoln: Filming the Legendry President

The movie is set in 1865 and depicts the final four months of Lincoln’s life

FILM REVIEW

MIR MAJID NAZIR

Steven Spielberg is not new to Historical Dramas. Having already directed movies like Schindler’s List and Munich, he added Lincoln to the list in 2012. The movie stars Daniel Day Lewis as the US President Abraham Lincoln.The screenplay is by Tony Kushner and is based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
The movie is set in 1865 and depicts the final four months of Lincoln’s life. It is the fourth year of American Civil war, fought between the anti-slavery United States (The Union or the North) and the secessionist Southern slave states (The Confederate States of America). Lincoln fears that once the war is over his Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 may be taken by the Courts as a temporary war measure, ceasing to be in force and thus possibly enslaving the freed slaves again. He is therefore pushing hard to get the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution passed in the House of Representatives before the war is over, which wouldabolish slavery. He is concerned that the returning Confederate States may defeat the amendment. For passing the amendment he not only needs the support of all the Republicans but of several opposition Democrats as well. The task is complicated by the fact that the conservative Republicans want him to negotiate a peace deal with the Confederate States in return for their support of the amendment. He reluctantly gives approval to the proposal of influential Republican Party politician Francis Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook) to secretly negotiate a peace deal with the Confederacy. At the same time he and his Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) try to woo the lame duck Democrats with Federal jobs to vote in favour of the amendment, hoping they can get it passed before a peace deal is reached.
The movie shows different shades of Lincoln, from a family man to a man yearning for peace but having to keep it waiting for something of immense historical importance. Daniel Day Lewis’s portrayal of Lincoln is brilliant. From his demeanor to the way he walks; Daniel Day Lewis portrays the iconic man perfectly. Each scene containing him leaves you hooked. Watch him when he shares funny anecdotes or when he breaks into spurts of anger in stark contrast to his otherwise soft spoken nature. The performance is exceptional and definitely makes him a strong contender for an Oscar for the Best Actor this year. The movie also includes Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Lincoln’s emotionally taxed wife and Joseph Gordon Levitt as Robert Todd Lincoln, his son who wishes to enlist in the army against his parents’ wishes. Tommy Lee Jones as the radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens does a really excellent job. His scenes in the House of Representatives in which he speaks against slavery and in favour of the amendment are a treat to watch. James Spader as William N. Bilbo, a Republican Party operative assigned with the job of wooing the Democrats provides some really funny moments. Praise is due to Steven Spielberg’s Direction and the excellent screenplay of Tony Kushner. The movie is a must watch and is going to be a very strong contender at the Oscars this year.
Feedback at mirmajidnazir@gmail.com

Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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