I will win….. Why? Because I have Faith, Courage and Enthusiasm!
Probably the most common mantra that was heard about all over the world when the recession; the largest financial downfall to hit us since the great depression in 1929. It may not have been the exact phrase as I quote above however it is most certain that it was on the same school of thought. Pop culture is mass of communication that is used today to convey certain messages to those sectors of society that find it hard to keep up with certain issues. Of course the recession is one that we all felt and we all are going through on a daily basis. The Company Men is not a movie done for the masses to enlighten them about recession, rather I wish to look at it as a pick me up movie; a movie done for the disheartened masses that are affected, a movie that gives hope and shows us the values of fighting for what we yearn in life. Writer and Director John Wells have a diamond of a script in his hand and are turning it into a very realistic and relative modern day depiction of what exactly is out there. The ugly truth about downsizing and its result in forms of frustration, depression and even at times; unfortunately Suicide! Stern messages to all those disheartened people who have lost hope a message to those who believe that there is no recovery; John Well gives us this magical movie of inspiration and courage. A very appropriate adaption from Hollywood, a movie for the mature masses, a movie ever so almost to a feel of a documentary, however a movie that should be watched by all who are being affected. Some of us are fortunate not to have experienced this horrific turn in the economy. Never the less it is always wise to keep in mind; although you may have right end of the stick in your hand today, as long as you do carry the stick, both ends of it will always go along with you, it is just a matter of time until the wrong end happens to get to you. I earnestly wish that day would not come upon us.
Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is being set free by his firm GTX; a transportation firm. Walker who drives a Porsche and who lives a life in a beautiful upscale house is used to the larger life just the same as Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper). Walker after 12 years of service is just let go one morning without a prior warning and Woodward a few months later after 30 years of service to GTX. Founder partner of GTX Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) too is suddenly let go by GTX, just so that they are able to keep the organization afloat. What do you do when you lose your job just like that? Ask your self? Put Tommy Lee Jones In front of a camera on any given day, he will bring forth character and maturity. Much like a premium aged whiskey contains the color and the aroma. With a brilliant and steady performance he anchors the plot down of course with Ben Affleck playing the lead male. However in my opinion Ben Affleck has a role of the weaker man who is searching for himself , hence the lions share in dominance would be Tommy Lee Jones’. Walker who hunts for jobs for over months does not give into the situation and is not willing to accept job offers that come his way that are below his previous pay check. At the onset of the recession I am thinking beggars can’t be choosers. There is much evidence required for the following assumption; hence I would like to highlight this merely is my personal opinion. When I woke up one morning and realized all the money was gone, my first question to my self was, “and who has all that money?” The answer in the form of The Company Men is given to me as clear as day by John Wells in the character of James Salinger (Craig T Nelson), the CEO of GTX who is one of the most over paid CEOs of the past year. The salary he paid himself is enough to have a minimum of 200 jobs a float. How many more of them must be still out there? There is an obvious discussion; rather the giant elephant in the room that I am reluctant to discuss. Kevin Costner; seem to have gained a bit above the waist is the constant in the world variables. Most certainly the prince of thieves has seen his heyday. Maybe he should be a bit more cautious in the characters he selects to play. A man in his caliber should settle for none less than a protagonist or the antagonist and most certainly not the cameo!
Title: The Company Men
Directed by: John Wells
Starring: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Kevin Costner, Craig T Nelson and Rosemarie Dewitt.
Rated: R for language and brief Nudity