Film Review: Weiner

Posted in Reviews, Top Stories by - June 12, 2016
Film Review: Weiner

Weiner” is wildly exposed, but modestly hidden.

Does anyone remember the last time they saw a film based on their favorite or not-so favorite political figure? It used to be that someone had to do something great or noble or historically profound to even be considered for a book publishing, much less a feature-length movie. Oh, how times have changed, particularly into the 21st century. Meet Anthony Weiner! He is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a former State Representative. Weiner’s reign as a member of The House ended abruptly when it was revealed, so to speak, that he had texted photos, or pics, of his modestly-concealed “member.”

Once the dust settled, Weiner found himself in a quiet, well-furnished New York home, complete with a beautiful wife, Huma Abedin, and a child. We all have our personal passions, which drive our lives and a often inspire us to contribute something of perceived value, for the rest of society. For people such as Anthony Weiner, who can really say what the drive or inspiration truly is, but the outcome leads to a life of supposed, well-meaning intentions and stressful, repetitive encounters with outspoken critics and over-bearing reporters.

For filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, the chance to be a “fly on the wall” during a mayoral campaign in the city of New York would be enough to garner excitement and interest in some circles, but throw in the dynamic, though sometimes off-putting antics of a man like Anthony Weiner (sexting scandals included) and there is definitely some extra juice simmering in THAT pot. Whether you agree with his political or social stances or NOT, from an objective standpoint, “Weiner” has plenty to offer for the average moviegoer who has any attachment or experience with watching “reality” television. Dare I say that the lines between fiction and non-fiction have only maintained a hard, visible line in the realm of reading.

What struck me as the most intriguing aspect of “Weiner” was that no matter how candid or open or honest the figures in the film seem to be, especially Mr. Weiner himself, there is still a glaring hint of deception and secrecy in the mix and it is not just pointed outwardly. Weiner appears to be consciously aware of the fact that he is playing the game of self-deception, concerning his deep-rooted flaws and problems, and they are greatly impacting those around him, both at far and at close range. One thing I ask myself now AND asked myself back during the allegations of sexual impropriety, in 2011, is, “How do any of his personal mistakes have anything to do with his positions and policies about society at large?” After all, no one is without fault and IF any of us are going to question another’s integrity, then why should we ever consider anyone else as a viable candidate in politics? It would be just like a certain, additional figure in this documentary said, “Don’t meet your heroes.”

What Anthony discovers, quite rapidly, are two very important and intertwining factors about humanity: it can be extremely forgiving, but not too forgetful. He is given a second chance by his peers and fellow community supporters, but the moment his past comes back to haunt him, THERE are the same people, who were just on his side, to wag their fingers in his face and shout inappropriate names about he and his wife. It IS New York, though. So keep that in mind.

What I would say in summation of “Weiner” is this: I have learned no newfound respect for politicians, on the whole, but I have seen that there is, undoubtedly, a separation of what makes someone a politician and what makes that SAME politician a human being. You see, I feel nothing about Anthony Weiner as a politician, not unlike before I saw the movie, but I DID see Mr. Weiner, at least in small doses, as a sympathetic fellow man. At the end of the day, these people are, indeed, people AND they are just as flawed as the rest of us are. If you feel that you can trust a politician, like Anthony Weiner, then you ought to be able to trust another person who is NOT a politician.

“Weiner” deserves all the cinematic praise it has coming. Forget about your own, personal thoughts on Anthony Weiner, the politician, and try to see him as just a man, because in reality, he IS.

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