Film Review – LINCOLN

Venue: Cine 4, Ster- Kinekor
              Maerua Mall
Director: Stephen Spielburg
Screenplay: Tony Kushner
Players: Daniel Day Lewis;  Sally Field; David Stathearn; Joseph Gordon Lewitt; James Spader; Hal Holbrook; Tommy Lee Jones
Genre: historical drama
Rating: ***½

Abraham Lincoln is probably the most iconic political figure in American history and Daniel Day Lewis does achieve a multi-faceted character in his interpretation of this American President, best known for the abolition of slavery.
The film, though, deals with a very small part of his political career: his passionate devotion to passing the Thirteenth Amendment, a Bill which effectively ended slavery in America, prior to the conclusion of the Civil War and the re-unification of the northern and southern states. His determination to effect the passing of the Bill in the face of overpowering odds and a divided Republican party does illustrate certain aspects of his character: a razor-sharp intelligence honed by a legal background and experience; a misleadingly mild manner and quirky sense of humour which veils his iron will; and although he seems visionary rather than pragmatic, he does prove to be ruthlessly pragmatic and more than willing to obfuscate when necessary.