VOD Spotlight: “The Campaign” brings out the worst in its candidates

The election is over, but people are still reeling from this year’s contest. With a hard-fought campaign like the one we just had, it might be perfect timing for a film like The Campaign. Starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, The Campaign tells a story of a congressional race that should sound pretty familiar to anyone who’s survived a presidential campaign in the modern media age: The charismatic Cam Brady (Ferrell) and his supremely unlikely challenger Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) are locked in a dead heat, thanks to a gaffe on Brady’s part and a whole lot of money and influence backing Huggins. As things heat up, all each candidate wants to do is to bury the other, until it’s apparent that politics as usual has somehow managed to sink to new lows not yet imagined.

“I’ve followed politics all my life and I’m still amazed by the amount of puppeteering that goes on behind the scenes in the making of a politician, and how the public can be duped by that,” Galifianakis says. “We’re just showing, in a fun and funny way, how the sausage is made.”

Ferrell agrees, citing how they poked fun at one of the biggest and most frequent complaints lobbed at the campaigns run by candidates these days. “One of the things the story makes fun of is the amount of money that can be poured into elections and how much influence it can have,” he says. “The district these guys are fighting over is a relatively small one, unimportant on the larger stage, but, for the powers that circle it, it’s vital for their business interests and therefore worth a great deal to them.”

Another aspect of electioneering that takes a pasting in The Campaign is the pervasive use of that glib sort of politico-speak known to most of us as attempted spin, and with which Ferrell’s character Brady is a master. “He’s an expert at saying nothing, with that super-polished way politicians have in responding to questions with statements like, ‘Thank you very much for your concern,’ or ‘I appreciate your carving out 15 minutes of your day to come down here to speak about the problems we all face,’ and then not actually providing an answer,” Ferrell says. “It was so much fun to adopt those speech patterns.”

The Campaign is available on Video On Demand now. Check your cable system for availability.


© 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.