Friday, 22 July 2016

REVIEW - WEINER (JOSH KRIEGMAN AND ELYSE STEINBERG)


If a week is a long time in politics, you'd hope that Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg's detail of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's 2013 election campaign would keep things moving: the timeframe here is eight weeks! Luckily, Weiner is a fast-paced film indeed, hurtling through the infamous, incendiary, incredible events of this period, chronicling the politician's brief, redemptive rise from public humiliation, and then his extraordinary, prolonged meltdown. It's a most sensational, salacious story, one of enormous peaks and gargantuan troughs in Weiner's circumstances; the kind of thing you probably could make up, but just wouldn't. The momentum, whether positive or negative, of the campaign is captured perfectly in the snappy editing, thus keeping Weiner buoyant and involving; better, though, than its sheer speed is the artistry contained within this relentless forward motion. Editor Eli B. Despres has a real feeling for the construction of mood and tone through his process, both matching and accentuating the piquant emotional and political observations in Kriegman and Steinberg's probing direction. Tension and excitement bubble up through the mania, and cheeky black comedy is knowingly purveyed, with even the film's more sympathetic figures not immune to being targeted. Still, Weiner is a thoroughly light affair - lighthearted and lightweight, an unexpected piece of popcorn entertainment that's perhaps unambitious, but certainly put together with skill and perceptiveness.