If you have not yet seen the movie Lincoln, please be aware that this review might contain spoilers.
Watching this movie was a very spontaneous idea and I didn’t have much time to contemplate whether I actually want to see it or not. I have seen the trailer several times and the short sequences they showed during the BAFTA awarding session. It seemed intriguing, but my lack of knowledge of the Civil War and Abolition of Slavery deterred me from being overly interested in this movie. I have heard from several people that this movie had brilliant actors but that the overall story was rather boring. With that in mind, I went to see it.
It was not boring at all. Yes, it is a movie with rather few action scenes. There is not much blood gushing about or explosions tearing human flesh apart. It is not a movie about the Civil War. It is a movie about humanity: about emotions, hope, despair and the pressure of being the leader of a nation. It is also a movie about politics. But even though I don’t care much for politics and never understood what is going on behind the doors of Congresses or Parliaments, this movie kept me interested and wondering what would happen next. It was delightful to see the genius but also childish mind of Lincoln, conveying wise and grave truths through little stories, playing with his son while waiting for the results of the vote that would change the world.
It is a confusing movie, as well. There are so many characters and it was hard for me to keep up with who was who. That might seem boring to other people, because boring is easier to say than “too intellectual for me to keep up”. There are brilliant dialogues, even though I didn’t always understand what they talked about.
I very much liked the alternating sides of Lincoln the father and husband and Lincoln the president. It is a portrayal of a man who carried the weight of the world on his shoulders – and the weight of a family on top of that.
The end was quite abrupt, I have to say. I would have liked to see more of the people’s reaction to Lincoln’s death. Not in any cheesy way, but I was a bit disappointed that they showed only the younger son and the wife grieving. What happened to the firstborn?
In conclusion, I was clearly not disappointed and didn’t find the movie boring. The actors were indeed splendid and Daniel Day-Lewis very much deserves the BAFTA award for Best Actor. It is a challenging movie that requires you to use your mind while watching it. I guess since quite a few people are not used to doing this in the cinema, the movie is deprived of the credit it deserves.