Director: Greg Whiteley
MPAA Rating: NR
Film Pulse Score: 7/10
Going into Greg Whiteley’s Mitt, I had little interest or expectations to learn about Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. I was pleasantly surprised however, at the end result, which displays a candid and ultimately human look at the man. Focusing on the rigors of the campaign trail and who the real Mitt Romney is, rather than the political aspects and media showboating proves to be insightful and entertaining.
The film follows Romney from 2006 all the way up until the 2012 election, giving the viewer an incredible behind the scenes view into what it takes to run for president. Through the non-stop travel, debates, media interviews, and smear campaigns, we get to see what it’s like from the perspective of the candidate.
One of the most jarring revelations of the film is that Mitt Romney actually seems like a decent guy. It’s easy to look at political candidates as these mindless robots reading prepared speeches from a teleprompter, and it’s rare that we really get to know who these people really are. Everything is canned and scripted so it was refreshing to see a film that contained the real thoughts and personality of someone running for president.
Some of the most interesting scenes in the film were small, seemingly inconsequential ones, like seeing Romney sleeping on the floor of a plane or picking up trash from his hotel balcony. It’s these small snippets that remind us that he’s just a normal guy who just happens to be running for President.
The film skirts around some of the more scandalous political material that faced Romney during the election, like the allegation that he drove cross country with his dog strapped to the roof of his car, so it’s not nearly as hard hitting as some may want it to be, however that’s not the intent.
It’s a film designed to show us who Mitt Romney is as a person, but it also gives us a look at how at the end of the day, these candidates are just cogs in a machine that’s in desperate need of a tune-up. If only he acted more as himself and conveyed his real thoughts and emotions he may have had a better chance of winning, rather than simply being the pawn of his own political party.
Mitt is a documentary worth seeing even if you fancy yourself a diehard liberal. It’s a film that treads lightly on the issues, but doesn’t necessarily paint the man as a saint either. This film will certainly not change anything as far as how we view our political figures, but hopefully this type of transparency will become the norm for more people running for office- preferably before the election.