The Swamp Movie Review

Scorn on the Bayou

"Drain the swamp" has been a rallying cry of Donald Trump's since the early days of his campaign, leading to his election in 2016. The parameters of what the swamp entailed never seemed too defined; to the point where Trump himself probably couldn't even tell you what he meant. Get rid of career politicians? Make room for the businessman outsider? Perhaps. In "The Swamp," directors Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme, who previously directed the political documentary "Get Me Roger Stone," try to define that swamp. The result is an interesting, if scattershot and frustratingly unfocused, new HBO documentary special.
The movie follows three Republican congressmen: Ken Buck of Colorado, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Matt Gaetz of Florida. Talking heads from Buck and Massie appear throughout the documentary, but Gaetz is predominantly spotlighted from the beginning. The movie opens with Gaetz waking up and getting ready for a day in Washington. He has a tiny room in his office, which used to be a work closet for the previous congressman, where he has a bed and bathroom so he can wake up and get right to work. From the outset, it's clear that "The Swamp" is most interested in what Gaetz has to say.

That is the inherent flaw of the documentary, which has some fascinating talking points. Focusing on Gaetz's political fame is nowhere near as interesting as defining the swamp and how politicians walk the fine line of fundraising in light of the guidelines imposed upon them by their party. That's the meat of "The Swamp," which covers a lot of topics, from the staunch defense of Trump to genuine moments of bipartisanship between Gaetz and Democratic congressmen Ro Khanna. Gaetz and Khanna worked together on the National Defense Authorization Act, which allocates money for the United States Department of Defense.

"The Swamp" derails itself when it gives Gaetz a podium to bloviate and showboat for the camera. The documentary feels intended to spotlight his role in Washington, but showing his bigger interest in elevating his political celebrity distracts from the substantive topics in the movie. On more than one occasion, Gaetz proudly takes out his phone and dials Trump (saved as "POTUS" in his contacts) and they exchange flattering compliments with each other. No accomplishment brings a Cheshire grin to Gaetz's face like hanging up from a praising phone call with Trump.

A lot of people whose politics don't align with Gaetz, Buck, or Massie's will not be interested in watching a two-hour documentary where they staunchly defend the divisive president. It's a fair stance to take. Even while spotlighting three Republican congressmen, the movie doesn't shy away from showing the hypocrisy in their motives and those chants to drain the swamp. It goes to show you that substance doesn't always matter when you choose to blindly follow the king.

"The Swamp" debut on HBO August 4 at 9 p.m.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Swamp Movie Review The Swamp Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, August 09, 2020 Rating: 5


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