Thank You For Smoking takes a funny look at the lives of spin doctors, the truth they almost filter, the corporations that rest on their shoulders and the people the tackle on their everyday lives. It’s certainly not great flick that one should raise up and give a Two thumbs way way up !! but it certainly provides enough thought and laughter on a Tuesday evening.
The spin doctors or the lobbyists as they are lovingly called, manage to be a firewall between the government and the corporations. In this process they also get burnt by the public angst. These guys talk their way through even the toughest of trials and save the corporations billions of dollars every year. Now if you couldn’t make any sense of the previous statements, watch Thank You For Smoking. If you do, watch Thank You For Smoking.
Nick Naylor[Aaron Eckhart], the charming gentleman with a broad smile, is a lobbyist for tobacco. In short, he proves to be middleman between the cigarette companies and the public / government. His life is like standing on a landmine, from tackling the anti-smoking debates on a television show to arguing for pro-smoking in jury courts without giving the slightest of a doubt that he is for against anti-smoking. He dines with the Merchants of Death [MOD], a group of lobbyists who are in a league of their own. MOD consists of a lady lobbyist for alcohol, Nick Naylor for cigarettes and another gentleman for firearms. Not just that but he has a kid son who manages to dramatically change the way Nick thinks himself in general. Nick is ready to accept people calling him by names from Profiteer to a Pimp to blood sucker. Gracious performance by Aaron who carries the entire movie on him.
Nick’s bed talk on lobbying tips & tricks to Heather [Katie Holmes], an aspiring journalist of The Washington Probe, starts the fun. The aftermath forms the rest of this 90 minute movie. TYFS moves along with funny dialogues and some interesting situations along way that lead to an expected climax.
As expected, not a single person smokes in the film except for the Captain[Robert Duvall] who holds a cigar on his hospital bed. The titles roll with the cast names printed on vintage cigarette boxes reminding us of the 70’s. Other than that and the funny arguments [some of which are ture] there is not much on pro-smoking advices. In fact its all black humor, starting from the 15 year old guy on the morning show who was traced of lung cancer to the Marlboro model who accepts bribe to reduce his old-age cigarette bashings.
The writing is razor sharp with some funny quotes sprinkled all along. Made me think, when Nick Naylor tells his son, “You are never wrong, when you argue right”. Jason Reitman as the writer and director of this movie, based on the book by Christopher Buckley, does a great job in making the best out of the screenplay. From the very idea of Space Smoking to the message, Smoking is Cool !! which Hollywood sends to the world, Jason makes enough satire on the industry he comes from and that’s exciting.
If you are bored with sitcoms and reality shows on cable, this film is a great escapade.