Miss Sloane ⭐⭐⭐

Miss Sloane, played with captivating presence by Jessica Chastain who is definitely the best thing in this film, is a conviction-lobbyist working in Washington D.C. who, for reasons not entirely elaborated, decides to take on the gun lobby on a piece of legislation that requires mandatory background checks for any firearm purchases. If “conviction-lobbyist” means a lobbyist with Aaron Sorkinian idealism (or in other word, fictitious and unreal), then she’s definitely one. And there lies my first problem with this film. For a film like this to work, you need an articulate and intelligent script that defines the issues at hand and while it doesn’t have to be balanced, a little greyness could provide texture and surprises for an audience who came with pre-conceived opinions; but above all, you need a resolution that’s plausible and narratively satisfying. Here, despite John Madden’s proficient directing, Jonathan Perera’s debut screenplay, while extremely promising and astute in parts, could do with a judicious editor and a more succinct and sharper ending. What the script does well is to follow the well-worn formula of mixing successes with setbacks to create dramatic tension in their quest but towards the last part of the film, slavish adherence to this means what could’ve been resolved much earlier got dragged on longer in favour of a last minute climatic reveal that, while extremely satisfying to watch, probably doesn’t hold much water on closer scrutiny.  The film and the amazing cast it boasts have their hearts in the right places but the Aaron Sorkin-like script functions more like a John Grisham thriller that’s perhaps too clever by half and lacks the tight and cogent plotting that’s needed to satisfy our minds.

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