Barbara and George Bush from the movie W.
Barbara and George Bush from the movie W.

One of the many things Damien and I have in common is an interest in politics. At times, you might describe us as “political junkies”, as we often get together for election nights. We also will often discuss over the phone or through chat major political events.

We’re not, however, what you’d call “partisan”. We have our own political preferences, but we’re definitely not “slaves to the party”.

When I won tickets to see the new Oliver Stone movie, “W” about George W. Bush it was only natural that I’d invite Damo.

We were both, however, somewhat disappointed with the film.

“It was like watching a cartoon”, Damien commented after the film. “Everyone was a charicature”, he added.

I was in total agreement. For me, It was just a film for the “chattering classes”, confirming or re-affirming their beliefs about George Bush.

As we watched the film at the Chauvel Cinema in Paddington, the “chattering classes” giggled at all the expected moments.

For me this was a real disappointment. The death of thousands of people is not something you dismiss with a giggle, and sly “he was an idiot” comment.

“These are serious issues” I thought to myself.

But still they giggled and laughed, as they had their views re-affirmed by a film that barely went beyond the surface.

“They didn’t tell me a thing I didn’t already know or feel about the Bush presidency”, Damien told me as we wandered down the street.

It was disappointing in so many ways. In fact, I began to feel the man “W” was probably more interesting and complex was the film “W”.

It’s such a shame because the last eight years were so important in so many ways. The end of an era. An important change in US foreign policy as they moved to a “first strike” philosophy. The fundamental change as the United States moved back into isolationist mode.

I refuse to believe – as the movie suggested – it was all about a bloke who could never live up to the expectations of his father. It was far more complex than that, which unfortuantely “W” failed to explained. It was, as Damien suggested, just a big cartoon.

That said, I did like Colin Powell and George Bush Senior, as they were clearly the film’s “heroes”, the dramatic counter-balances to “Junior” and played by the actors with a great deal of intelligence and authenticity.

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