Documentary Review | The War Room
While a romantic would likely praise the American voting system for being a institution that triumphs the people, a realist would possibly counter that forces such as political machinations and the electoral college are what actually determines the nation’s leaders and normal people have little sway. Without either confirming or denying either of these two beliefs, The War Room opens a discussion of this by offering a fascinating look at the campaign team behind Bill Clinton’s first presidential bid and how they achieved the impossible by beating the incumbent, George H.W. Bush. The film mainly centers around his two campaign aids, James Carville and George Stephanopoulos as they help their candidate move from little known Governor to President of the United States.
Instead of following a typical interview based format as other documentaries may have, the crew and filmmakers remain essentially invisible, letting the “characters” of this documentary act just as they would have. Thus, it follows that all music in the film is diegetic (comes from the actual footage) which assists in helping the movie feel like simply a presentation of real life. However, the editing moves the story along in an engaging and interesting manner, expertly accenting the film’s goals and messages to present these people in their actual state. Overall, I thought The War Room was an excellent example of an engaging, “hands off”, documentary as well as an interesting discussion of the American voting system.
Written by: Parker Gehring