Thank You for Smoking - Book Review

Published: 2021-06-29 06:54:34
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Thank You for Smoking, the film version of Christopher Bukley's novel "Thank You for Smoking" written in 1994 projected political skewering of a Vermont Senator (Ortolan Finistirre), who introduced legislation targeted on Big Tobacco Company, aimed to minimize youth smokers, and enhancing his election campaign. Aaron Eckhart played as Nick Naylor, the fast-running cigarette lobbyist who holds the story together even as he almost falls apart; there is something rather nice about lighting up together, as it were, even by proxy (Dargis, 2). Nick Naylor antagonist's character, defending for cigarette industry, and arguing against public relations perspective over the use of tobacco is the plot. But his twist and turn character made the dialogue more engaging and unpredictable, delivering political messages in glibly funny way. Thank You for Smoking is surprisingly explores the world of public relation campaigning, and how bureaucracy used media as propaganda to manipulate the crowd, passing message to consumers that tobacco should remained in our society.
Self -Interests over Public Interests
The ability of a good film is to entertain a mass audience while still providing material for serious analysis; sometimes frame-by frame analysis is one of the movies' chief charms (Gianos, 23). Jason Reitman, the writer and the director of this film demonstrated a comedy and drama that combined laughs with political analysis that tackled politician who used public interests to influences the successes of their campaign. Senator of Vermont main objective is to win popularity by introducing legislation requiring printing an image of skull and crossbones on every cigarette pack. His goal is to pass symbol to those who do not speak English to understand the dangerous of cigarette. According to Roger Elbert, journalist from the Chicago Sun Times stated that Ortolan Finistirre projected common campaign strategy that tackle public interest by imposing public policy to enhance not only his popularity, but also self-interest (4). Nick Naylor on the other hand speaks on behalf of cigarette industry, challenged Senator Finistirre anti-tobacco campaign by sponsoring fifty million dollar, researching if there is a relationship between tobacco nicotine and cancers aimed especially at teenagers. At a glance, this research imposed by Nick work toward a good cause, but it was aimed to avoid bad publicity, and protect his interests. This shows that in reality, the motives behind the public relations plans are seldom what they appears to be, which resulted in bribes to divert attention (Tickle, 7). Bureaucracy like The Tobacco Academy would spend tons of money to paint over its negative image in order to protect its interest, and increase sales.
The switch of character roles twisted audience's brains, trying to identify the protagonist and the antagonist of the story. Thank You for Smoking isn't Eckhart's best film, but this is the first role that given him the room to play both ends of his usual character types, to turn his ingratiating smiles into a leer, to charm even as he repels (Dargis, 1). Mr. Reitman kept twisting Nick's character because Nick projected a type of bureaucrat. It illustrated at the beginning of the film, where we made him on "The Joan Lunden Show" sitting next to bald-headed little Robin, a 15 year old boy who is dying from lung cancer, but has stopped smoking. Nick rises smoothly to the challenge: "It's in our best interests to keep Robin alive and smoking" (Ebert,1). He diverted the message saying "The anti-smoking people want Robin to die" (Thank You for Smoking). Clearly Nick has no interest in Robin's life, even though Nick knows that smoking kills, but as long as a whole crowd is on his side, he would stand a chance to protect both his career and the tobacco institution running.

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