'Lincoln' Review By Bawnian©-Dexeus
This is History
DIrected by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Joseph Cross, Lee Pace and Jared Harris.
1865. The year slavery would be abolished for good. During such an ordeal which would become a great historic event, a Civil War took place in the background of it all. It was a race to ban slavery before peace was achieved, for if peace were to be ignited, than the thought of freedom would be washed away by the black water of the white man.
Look to your ancestors my friends. Be only proud of their achievements, but not of their foolishness. Then again, can any of us blame our predecessors? Different times really. It's like calling a direct descendant of John Wilkes Booth a guilty man for his family's actions and beliefs. Regardless, we can only focus on the future of our homes. Lincoln is that movie Spielberg has been fighting to make for a decade an over. He finally did it and it turned out to be a success with the critics, deeming that the man still has what it takes to deliver. But, what of my opinion? Surely being one huge fan of the man I should be on the bandwagon like I was with War Horse. Sadly, no. It takes a big man and a true fan to know that this wasn't his very best. I could have been, but ultimately ended being good.
No white man against freeing colored people would allow it to happen, nor letting them vote or even letting women vote. It would have been funny to walk in there and give these men a heart attack by telling them that women can now vote and that our current president is black.
There was a lack of amazing moments that could or should have been pursued, but not knowing the script beforehand or the direction this film would have taken, I simply hoped for the best. Its true about what Spielberg stated a few weeks before the movie's debut in an interview, about making a movie about the man and not the monument. Lincoln is as much a human and you and I. He had his flaws as much to even out his greatness. He was a man who mourned, laughed, screamed, sung and above all else, loved. We saw a man go through legal and illegal measures to ensure the survival of the 13th amendment. Finally, we saw a man that recognized his position of power and used it as a tool with the utmost intelligence to get the job done correctly, in a sense. All of this was achieved by Mr. Lewis. Granted, there was no explosive sequence where he would prove himself to the world why he's won for Best Actor in the past. No, no the man proved his position in hollywood by being subtle and maintaining character, and that is the performance of a lifetime.
I saw no reason to cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lincoln's eldest son. All he did was complain, cry and argue only to enlist into the army to not feel guilty and fight for what is right. So what? Am I supposed to feel something for a character that did infact enlist, but only stood on the sidelines wearing uniform without even going through battle? Being the writer and being Spielberg, I would have expected at least a 3 minute sequence of young Robert Lincoln in battle to further strengthen the plot. The damage is done. Would have just been casted by a fresh face. Lincoln did allow underrated actors you normally see on TV take part as historic characters, but like I said, it takes more than a name to carry a film, even if that name is Daniel Day-Lewis or Steven Spielberg.
Cinematography was excellent, as well as the ugliness of war and depressed sentiments portrayed by mud, rain and blood. Spielberg does indeed have an eye for the visuals. It all started by crashing two trains together, now here he is commanding extras to pretend that they are at war while stabbing ,drowning and shooting each other to entertain a mass audience. My final disappointment would be the lack of John Williams's music. It was more present in the final credits than the whole production. Oh well, least the overall theme is worthy enough to get my dollar and thirty cents for iTunes. In the final act, we see a victorious President taking his last walk in the White House. Had it been me, I would have needed it there, rather than prolonging his inevitable demise, all to deliver a speech.
Overall, Spielberg is known for making multiple films centered in the same genre. With War Horse and Lincoln, he has concluded his war epics. This wasn't his best, plain and simple. I admit I was underwhelmed. Now I look to the future for the genre that brings out the best in him...Science Fiction.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.