Writer: Dzamira DzafriWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“War Horse”, “There Will Be Blood”
To be honest about the film, "Lincoln" gave the impression that it was as interesting as a regular documentary. Sure, it scored a hefty amount of awards and is a favourite at the Oscars, but how entertaining could it be?
Most Malaysians wouldn't have a clue when it came to the details of American history. The gist of it, of course, is that Lincoln is tall, he had a beard, and he was shot in an auditorium booth during a play of some sort. Surprisingly, the movie turned out to be comprehendible from the beginning with a brief slideshow of how the war began. Unlike the US version, the film currently shown in local cinemas contain a history lesson that the U.S. audiences don't get to see!
Having seen the film though, it turned out not to be boring. Steven Spielberg should never have been doubted in his storytelling prowess. His previous directing gig for "War Horse" was a favourite in 2011 where he successfully made war seem more in-depth and fascinating than it really is. While "Lincoln" may not be war-heavy, it certainly touches the same subject and Spielberg does a fantastic job with it.
John Williams, who frequently collaborates with Spielberg for movie scores, does an exceptionally great job with this one. His recent scores have been lacking the wow-factor it used to resonate, and it reflects a little in "Lincoln" as well, but it can still tug emotions at the right times. Just hearing the music being played in a few scenes will make you choke up. Music scores that give that kind of effect is very difficult and Williams seem to just breathe music notes.
The performances of almost all these actors are exceptionally breath-taking. James Spader, who's known for his role in "Boston Legal", played W. N. Bilbo, a refreshingly entertaining character and one of the Republicans who fought for the right to free slaves and end the war. Lee Pace's performance is also enjoyable as one of the 'bad guys', the deliciously slimy Democrat, Fernando Wood.
While her character may be secondary compared to Lincoln and his Republicans, Sally Field played the role of Mary Todd Lincoln surprisingly well, not to mention of course, Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln. What can't he do? He's practically the most versatile and talented actors out there, and his portrayal of Lincoln was as perfect as his Oscar-winning roles in "There Will Be Blood" and "My Left Foot". His performance was subtle, yet powerful, and he was an absolute joy to watch. The couple had great chemistry together and the scenes when they were in the same room will blow you away.
The only actor deserving an Oscar more than Daniel Day-Lewis is Tommy Lee Jones with his portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens. He was absolutely entertaining, engaging and extraordinarily good. He has come a long way from protecting the world from evil aliens and his performance will move you to tears. It is highly recommended that you watch this film just to see him kick some political butt.
In some scenes, you might miss certain points on politics, but don't worry about it, as it doesn't stop you from enjoying the rest of the film.
For two and a half hours of screen time, the movie was in danger of dragging, but all the scenes were well made, and with the help of the scriptwriting and actors' performances, it didn't seem all that long.
"Lincoln" is definitely a must watch film this year, with the outstanding actors and the heart-wrenching story of human rights. It may be an American themed movie, but it is relatable worldwide. In the end, it is this very topic that will bring you to tears. Human rights are still an issue all around us, and it is a good thing to fight for. Cinema Online, 01 January 1900