July 28, 2015


With Lincoln, we are subjected to a medley and almost near uncoordinated barrage of the emotional, wishful charms that are supposed to enchant the American mind, to restore and reinvigorate its memory of the President who ended the slave practice in the United States. The inchoate mixture simply does not know what to be.


Surprisingly, the man himself is really just a background character to the evolving storyline of trying to hand-wring enough votes to make abolishing slavery a constitutional amendment. In this way, the rounding up of a cavalcade of political characters, each uniquely representing their constituents more so then as it appears in today’s contemporaneity, where one would not be able to discern a coarse gradient of elected representatives like is seen so harshly on display here. Lincoln, then, for the majority of the film parallels House of Cards in unveiling to us how the sausage gets made in the kitchen. And apparently this particular recipe is critical because of the man behind it.


Yes, it is a historical moment. And such pathos is emptied onto the screen, nauseautingly, with an over abundance of Negros. All to suggest the importance of winning this amendment, almost as an act of pity on the colored people versus arming them with dignity. Yes, the rhetoric in the film may favor the latter, but Mr. Spielberg is unrelentless in cajoling a wishfulness for justice and “right-eousness” with the end of the slave practice thanks to this American President.


We are not privy, however, to why this man was willing to commit so much bloodshed, to soak the soil of a country not even a century old, for this cause. It is not to say it is an unduly one, it is only to say, comparatively speaking as we look toward the British Isle and their termination of the slave pratice, there must have been another way. Of course, that other way likely would have been fulfilled over decades of a slow march of progress, versus capturing the historians and humanity’s thirst for high-drama and instant-gratification: always killing in the name of a better world.


Strewn in-between this haze and obscured man, probably hidden from the storyline to augment the strong and silence of the historical figure, are Lincoln’s entanglements with his family members. These are just distractions really, and mechanically overused to invoke even further artificial stimulated turmoil, conflict, a sensation of tension on the wire Mr. Lincoln has to cross as he makes history. But they are so scattered, much like the other emotional set-pieces, that all-around a better title for this overrated and disappointingly flaccid film ought to be Abolition.


Grade: D



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