With all the bad news coming out of America in the last few weeks, we’ve been recoiling deeper into our blankets as we watch movies to drown out the sound of The Donald (also currently known as POTUS). Funnily enough, we found quite a few movies which predicted the arrival of a Trump-like figure and his supporters. It’s often said that art imitates life, but the converse is true as well. We just wish it weren’t true in this case.
A Face in The Crowd
Andy Griffith plays a bumpkin of a radio and TV personality who rises to fame on the back of his ability to speak plainly, or to put it in terms Trump supporters understand – “He tells it like it is.” Before too long, he’s media coach to presidential candidates and wielding massive influence over public opinion. Griffith’s character is vile, megalomaniacal and a shameless panderer to the public.
Peter Sellers’ comedic chops have no limitations. In this satirical take on American politics, Sellers plays a simple-minded man who only knows television, but is somehow mistaken for a modern day political guru who spouts ‘wise’ words at the drop of a hat. Courted by the President of the United States, his foray into political circles shines a light on the cynicism of American politics – that such a weak mind should be able to hold sway over the minds of millions. Sounds familiar?
V for Vendetta
This speech in particular brings to mind a certain demagogue who spent a large part of his campaign driving fear and hatred into the hearts and minds of his followers. Roger Allam plays the over-the-top Lewis Prothero, a divisive, rhetoric-spouting character, who at one point says, “We did what we had to do… immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists. Disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go. Strength through unity. Unity through faith.” Now where have we heard that before.
Team America: World Police
This feature film from the creators of South Park features dialogue that would not be out of place at a Trump rally. Of course, this film is an over-the-top comedy which pokes fun at the kind of alt right, conservative thinking that got Trump elected. The film talks about a no-holds-barred military, hatred for liberal celebrities, gratuitous explosions, inaccurate depictions of Arabs and a world view that allows for America to be seen as Big Brother.
Idiocracy can be reclassified as a documentary on modern day America, and not the hilarious work of satire that it originally set out to be. The film follows Joe Bowers, an American soldier who is put into a futuristic hibernation programme, who wakes up in the year 2505 only to find that his beloved country has gone to ruin because humans have been breeding the intelligence out of them. Now, he’s the world’s smartest man alive and he has to fix what’s been broken. The film is a biting take on American society and holds a mirror up to it. Don’t miss Terry Crews’ star turn as President Camacho.
Like this article? Also read: The Bollywood Style Congress-Samajwadi Party Mashup We Never Asked For
Cover Image Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab