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The Candidate (1971) Film

The candidate film was written by Jeremy Larner, produced by Walter Coblenz and directed by Michael Ritchie and stared by Robert Redford as Bill Mackay who is a fresher in politics as compared to his opponent Tunney who is a veteran in politics. Since the movie was shot in North California in 1971, it has a lot of similarities with the 1970 California senate elections which were hotly contested by john Tunney and George Murphy (The Candidate). The film tries to highlight the emptiness of politics and how it can corrupt the innocent. This paper criticizes the movie particularly on the issues related to the American politics by focusing on the value judgments; political insinuation and political awareness that are included this film.

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The movie criticizes the modern day politics especially when we look into the life of Bill MacKay a young lawyer renowned lawyer who joins politics with a low spirit and sees it as a chance to address some vital issues to the voters. He refuses to enter into negotiations and compromises but towards the end we see him compromising his integrity and stand especially when he realizes that he may win the election. The movie also addresses some issues in modern day politics especially the importance of money and the image of a political candidate. Candidates that are good looking with quality oratory skills and in possession of a lot of money seem to win irrespective of their policies in particular, the rise of Mackey into the realms of politics with his foolish slogans is evident since he is eloquent and good looking. Further more Mr. Bill Mackey is politically estranged since he is not eligible to vote as he is not registered and his inadequacy of political message. He is forced to compromise after all the freedom that Lucas promised him seemed to disappear into the thin air. His stand and ideologies are compromised especially during the debate on abortion.

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Candidate are forced to change their social classes for the sake of winning votes in particular, Bill Mackay changes his social class, from youngsters in the basketball courts to factory workers and other middle class workers (The Candidate).

Political candidates get corrupted in order to win votes, their speeches are full of illusions and promises which are short lived. In particular Bill mocks his speech especially when he says that it is impossible to house the houseless (The Candidate). He goes to his father who is rumored of backing his opponent to lure him to his side.

The close relation between sex and power and the sexual compromise in many politicians is depicted in this movie especially Bill who gets late for the important meeting since he was romancing with a campaign worker.

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Media also has an upper role in politics especially when they use clear images and sound bite manipulation for Bill who becomes the favorite to many. Surely the political campaigns are determined by image.

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