FILM REVIEW – THANK YOU FOR SMOKING
BY NITAS IFTEKHAR
Big Tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor’s dashingly clever charm is projected onto the whole landscape of Thank You For Smoking, the result being a fast-paced, quick-witted, smile-jerker of a movie that might even be masking a piercing message about the nature of American political and corporate culture somewhere along the way. Passive-aggressive manipulation, the wink and a smile charm, describes best the silky-smooth portrayal of big tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor in Jason Reitman’s movie. You might think that this is a movie advocating smoking, but it really isn’t. Jason Reitman has directed the movie quite brilliantly leaving a lot for the viewer’s to go home with. It’s a movie about a man, Nick Naylor, played by Aaron Eckhart who does what he does because he’s got a mortgage to pay and also he’s very good at what he does. The best examples of this are during his appearance on the Joan Lundon show where he gets "Cancer Boy" to like him, and in front of the Senate hearing on putting the scary label on cigarettes. Not getting into his arguments, but must say his points are right on the mark, at least in my eyes. Deep down I think Nick wishes he could be arguing something else, but he hasn’t yet figured out how to showcase his talents in a less controversial area. The protagonist to be a lobbyist for said industry in the movie that kind of makes him the devil's wing man. The question then arises, do you have to actually have conviction when arguing a side, or do you just have to win? Nick says “That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.” Nick Naylor isn't just some lobbyist; he's the king of all persuasive people. He puts off people everywhere he goes, but remains, despite his awful reputation, the king of his son's world. His son Joey idolizes his father not because he's persuasive or powerful but merely...
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