Summary of “Thank You for Smoking”
The movie “Thank You for Smoking” is primarily about the job and actions of the main character, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart). Nick Nelson is a lobbyist, the vice president and spokesperson of The Academy of Tobacco Studies. His job is to acknowledge people of the research and findings about the effects of cigarettes. The company is financed mainly by tobacco companies and they claim to have found no defective linkage between smoking and major diseases. But what they actually do is that they speak on behalf of cigarettes, thus Nick’s job primarily focuses on promoting and encouraging cigarette usage. He tells people that everyone has their own freedom to choose whatever they wish to explore. If people can venture out to explore chocolates, why not cigarettes? He is a man who has a talent for talking and convincing people against all odds. He is the man who kills 1200 people every day and is proud of his work. Nick also has a son, Joey Naylor, who lives with his mother. Nick failed to live up as a decent father since he is a person hated by all, but still he manages to get his sons appreciation when he shows him his work and explains his job. When his company discovers that they are losing teenage customers, Nick even develops a plan to bribe movie stars to smoke in a movie so that it will be seen as cool and teens would be once more attracted to smoking. Soon with permission from higher authority, i.e. The Captain (Robert Duvall), he initializes his plans makes a deal with one of Hollywood’s top agents. Everything was going great for him. Even the skull and bone warning on cigarette pack campaign brought out by his worst critic Senator Finistirre posed no threat to him. But out of the blue, Nick gets kidnapped, and his kidnappers aimed to make him suffer for his deeds. They attach nicotine patches to his whole body and set him free. The number of nicotine patches attached could have killed him, but by some miracle he survived but the doctor told him that he could never smoke a cigarette again in his life. In the midst of all this, Nick meets a reporter, Heather Holloway (Kaite Holmes) with whom he starts to develop an intimate and sexual relationship, during which she gains his trust and gathers all his secrets and information. Soon she releases her article, showing the true Nick Naylor to the world. This eventually ends up in him losing his job, his deal with the movie but most importantly his confidence. When he is doomed in a hopeless mindset, his son goes up to him and tells him not to give up, that is it his job to be hated by people and he must still prove himself right. With new confidence he attends the hearing of Senate committee for the poison label program, where he admits that cigarettes are harmful but the public are well aware of it and there is no need for extra labeling. He spoke about consumer choice and protection and also that if death toll is such a big impact, maybe they should also label product like cheese for high cholesterol. He ends his brilliant speech by admitting that if his son ever wants to smoke, he would gladly buy him his first pack. He soon gets his old job back, but he declines, realizing that there are things more important in life.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Who do you think was the central character of this movie? Why he/she was the central character? Explain. A: Nick Naylor, played by Aaron Eckhart, is the main character of this movie. The movie focuses on his job, the spokesperson that speaks on behalf of cigarettes and defends the Big Tobacco. It arises a question of moral justification as the viewer gets to see his actions and attempts to promote smoking among teenagers, bribing anti-smoke campaigners and movie stars. The prime focus is to let the viewers see how far a man can go to try to promote something bad and what can be the results.
2. Who are the stakeholders of tobacco industry? Can you put up a ranking of these...
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