It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
What it comes down to is a politician who can no longer bring himself to recite the words, "America is standing on the doorstep of a new millennium." Over and over and over again he has repeated the same mindless platitudes, the same meaningless baloney, the same hot air. Now he sits in his office, playing one of his stupid TV commercials on an endless loop. He has not eaten or slept in three days. He is sick to the soul of the American political process.
These do not seem to be the makings of a comedy, but Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" made me laugh--and wince. You realize that if all politicians were as outspoken as Bulworth, the fragile structure of our system would collapse, and we would have to start all over again. The movie suggests that virtually everything said in public by a politician is spin. "Spin control" is merely the name for spin they don't get away with.
Bulworth is a onetime Kennedy liberal (like Beatty himself), an incumbent senator from California who is accused by an opponent of being "old liberal wine trying to pour himself into a new conservative bottle." The joke to Bulworth is that liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, are no longer labels that mean much: When it comes to national health care, for example, the insurance companies have both parties in their pockets (and both parties have their hands in the companies' pockets).
Bulworth is in trouble. He hates his job and his life, and has just lost millions in the market. So he puts out a contract on his own life and flies back to California thinking he has three days to live. His impending death fills him with a sense of freedom: At last he is free to say exactly what he thinks, and that's what he does. In a black church, he observes, "We all come down here, get our pictures taken--forget about it." Blacks will never have power within the establishment, he says, until they've spent the money to buy it, like the whites do.