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Monday, June 3, 2019


(Charlize Theron & Seth Rogen)

Can you imagine Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen linking up in this world? Really? For many, it would be a consummation devoutly to be avoided. Still, this is Hollywood ... (Review by Patrick Compton 7/10)

If you can conceive of the exquisite Charlize Theron, late of Benoni, playing US Secretary of State and appointing Seth Rogan as her speechwriter because she was his babysitter many years before, then your ability to suspend disbelief is a whole lot better than mine.

Maybe I wasn’t in the mood, but right from the first scene I simply couldn’t even pretend to believe what I was seeing on the screen, despite being amused by the frequently raunchy goings-on.

Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, a bearded, roly-poly radical reporter in a windcheater and a baseball cap who doesn’t mind throwing in a few dozen expletives in his muck-raking stories for a leftie newspaper. We first meet him trying to infiltrate a neo-Nazi group, not altogether successfully. Later, he walks out of his job when he learns it’s been sold to a Rupert Murdoch-like scumbag.

Theron, on the other hand, is the president’s right-hand gal, Charlotte Field. When she discovers that her boss has ambitions in the world of TV and plans to quit, this impossibly glamorous, elegant and ambitious woman walks a rocky road as she prepares to become the first female US president.

One of the movie’s satirical strengths is that it exposes the lengths that women in the public eye must go to seem not only cool and confident, but also successful. This allows Theron to work in a certain vulnerability within the movie’s feminist underpinning.

The film’s setup is that Field not only appoints Flarsky as her speech writer, but also that she succumbs to his whacky charms despite the attentions of a handsome Canadian prime minister in the Trudeau mould.

The film’s success has little to do with its political edge, but rather with the two leads who, against all the odds, manage to successfully run with their characters and create some kind of chemistry, though not, one has to admit, of the amorous kind. Here, Theron is first among equals, once again showing what a multi-talented actress she is, as comfortable working in romantic comedies as she is in dramas, fantasy adventures and thrillers.

O’Shea Jackson and June Raphael are the most eye-catching actors in the minor roles, the former as Flarsky’s black buddy and the latter as part of Field’s management team.

My problem with this film is that Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling’s script rarely pretends to connect to the world we live in, while the ending, even for Hollywood, stretches veracity to ridiculous lengths.

Long Shot is showing in multiple Durban cinemas. – Patrick Compton