week ten

December 13, 2010

The 2007 film Michael Clayton applys itself to three of Robin Wood’s twelve components of ideological elements. The sixth element, which is about success and wealth, as one of the film’s main elements is the idea of Michael having to work to protect a billion dollar pharmaceutical company. The seventh element, the Rosebud syndrome, which is the idea that money isn’t everything,and also that money corrupts. This element plays in wth the businessman Michael has to help, a disillusioned man who had essentially a nervous breakdown and now wants to turn the tables on his company. Finally, the ninth element, which is the concept of the ideal male figure. This is Michael, who is the guy everyone turns to when they need a problem “fixed”, so to speak. As the film progresses, Michael slowly drifts into the Rosebud syndrome, as his experiences with his disillusioned client, his bosses, and business people in general help Michael become disillusioned himself, and by the end of the film he no longer wants his job and turns in the people who hired him to the authorities. While I can’t think of any other elements that Michael Clayton includes itself in, the fact that this film only hits three of Wood’s twelve markers for ideology in film shows that Wood’s theory may not be such a perfect idea, as not all films necessarily contain even half of Wood’s rules.

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