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review: state of play

proxyryan just won some tickets from JoyFM to see an preview screening of State of Play, and I managed to tag along. State of Play is a political drama which uses Ben Afflick's inability to cry on camera to chilling and deliberate effect. It was based on a 12 part british political drama, and condensed the plot line into a 2 hour movie, while maintaining most of the tension and plot cohesion. The substitution of Private Military Contractors for the private oil companies of the original show was a little ham-handed at times, especially with the transparent portrayals of Blackwater and News Corp under slightly changed names, but the drama manages to distinguish itself from other shows like lions for lambs and syriana by keeping the drama focused around the figure of Russell Crowe's newspaper reporter Cal MacAffrey and his partnership with Rachel McAdams' faux-blogger character Della Frye. Hellen Mirren was great as the tough newspaper boss and the other supporting cast put in solid performances. There are a few moments when the very human characters have moments of abject stupidity, but they come across as the expected actions of people under pressure.

I'd recommend it if you liked tense thrillers in the vein of Capricorn One.