sabato 8 novembre 2014

House of Cards, limit is politics

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has never hidden his interest for House of Cards tv series, encouraging his staff rather than take it as a model, such as a user's guide. He was suddenly replied by Michael Dobbs, novel's author. We know he sent a note to Renzi, something like "So go back to bed good boy, these are oldmen stuff" "But I'm big man now!!" "Not enough to understand what is fiction and what is not"

In short, the desire to tell the world how Matteo understands politics was duped twice. Once when the world did not want to feel like a kid who want to play as a statesman and once when a professional politician as the same author Dobbs, did not seem able to play the game with Renzi replying him in a such too adult and boring way. He, who should understand about games and fictions.

"But the main character Frank Underwood is very cynical, I'm not like him" Said Renzi. "I rather think that power is the ability to charge the responsibilities of others."

And this is where I realized how Renzi understood nothing about the screenplay, such as Obama when he said he wanted a Frank Underwood in his government team, because " would be nice to see measures passed so fast!"

So, if you say to take House of Cards as model there you go, it is politics and Renzi is a politician, or at least, he would like to be. But if you make us understand then, that you didn't catch anything about the novel, it's like saying that you don't understand anything about politics.

Yet Kevin Spacey in its fluid scenes breaks, directly addressing the audience, must have said it more than once what 'power' is. In the 12th episode of the second season also said clearly what politics is, for those who, like Prime Minister Renzi, may have been left the meaning behind.

"It's the limit." Said Spacey. The limit beyond which you are betraying and before which nothing happens at all. An invisible line that only few people know and fewer ones dare to walk in. And the purpose, Frank Underwood is always used to obtain it, just as he metaphorically remembers when Jackie Sharp involuntarily touched his Civil War model.

"Oh, be careful!" Frank said close to his omnipresent wife. "It 's very delicate."
"What is that?" Asked deputy Sharp.
"One thing I'm working on for a looooong time."

And we all know about what Frank is working on with the help of his assistant Stamper and his wife Claire.

"And it's almost over ...." In a dialogue that reaches the highest peak of metaphor.

House of Cards has some blatant twists, not so many, and others are more frequent, but matters purely political facts. Dobbs created realistic dialogues, not so obvious at all, always telling about double games, blackmails and counterattacks that made the novel more close to reality. We must say that in some episodes it goes too long with technicalities not so familiar with the audience. These could may be unnecessary and redundant to the story. The second season begins with a great twist and then doze at least for five or six episodes. Just in time to bring another journalist into the scene and to awake the viewer with a situation's history briefing.

And there's a very good journalism in the series, especially in the first season and at the end of the second. Maybe rushed and not so likely when Zoe Barnes writes his pieces in two minutes from her phone and walking. But we do grant the authors' message; Publishing has changed and is still changing. The information is other then used to be in the past, and editors as the Slugline look much more like Google offices. We see a Zoe Barnes dismissed from the old and classic american newspaper finding a job by the new editor of Slugline.

House of Cards is the fabric that Spacey is weaving, day after day, with the only purpose of achieving the maximum power. Frank Underwood has suffered the decision of not being named Secretary of State as they planned with President Walker's staff and Walker himself sent him to be noticed by his staff's chief.

Unforgivable mistake.

And after a whole night passed at the window of his luxury apartment, smoking cigarettes, Frank returns to work with a big "smile" between his teeth and with an ambitious plan to be accomplished. 

He's the boss and if the paper does not say it yet, it will say it soon.

Ultimately, appreciable are so many small details in the series, such as the wall of the opposite's house we see from Underwood's house window, just to say how much Frank and his wife had little interest in material things but rather for power.

"There are those who accumulate money and those who accumulate power"

And to get the power you need to walk on the limit, the limit of what then, is only a detail.

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