Wednesday, March 16, 2011
#84: Capitalism: A Love Story
Michael Moore tries to grapple with a basic economic question of how much of capitalism is really good in a country with this 2009 documentary. What he tries to capture in essence through the documentary has been a matter of a long-standing debate between eminent thinkers of our times. How much of private investment should be allowed in nation-building is a subject too far wide and deep to be tackled in a movie little over two hours. Nevertheless, the attempt has been made with Capitalism: A Love Story.
It begins dramatically with Moore likening a bank robbery to a set of families being evicted from their homes due to failed loan repayments. With a swift flashback it then takes us back to the time where the seeds of capitalism first began to be ingrained. Thereafter, it flirts with two ndustries - healthcare and airlines to illustrate the ills that capitalism has brought upon us. So far so good.
The problem begins with a segment that tries to elicit from Christian priests what the church or how Jesus would've reacted to the profit making motives of businessmen these days. It's only after this that the movie comes to piecing together how selfish profit making initiatives actually have began to engulf the Wall Street executives in an inextricable web of greed and deceit. This should've been the main focus of the movie but by the time it gets to the point, the lengthy buildup takes the punch away from what Moore tries to convey- that the nation was taken for a ride by eminent Wall Street honchos and the government isn't doing a thing about it.
Capitalism: A Love Story begins well, nosedives in between and then recovers just about in time to stay afloat in your mind. If you're looking for a good documentary on the hows and whys of the recession, the Inside Job is a far better piece of cinema to stick to. But if you're not so much of a stickler this one is just for you.