‘State of Play’ a suspenseful political thriller

Caitlin-Marie Ward

The mystery-thriller, “State of Play,” based on a BBC mini-series, directed by Kevin MacDonald and starring A-listers Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Ben Affleck, opened in theatres April 17.

From the start of the film to its surprising conclusion, viewers will never leave the edge of their seats.

Set in Washington D.C., the film opens with three murders.

First a petty criminal is killed along with the witness of this crime. Later, an assistant researcher (who also turns out to be the mistress) for Congressman Stephen Collins, played by Affleck, meets an unfortunate end on a Metro subway track.

From there it becomes the mission of investigative journalist, Cal McAffrey (Crowe) and blog writer, Della Frye (McAdams) to tie these events together in a web full of sex, crime, political corruption, lies and secrets.

“State of Play” is very cleverly constructed. Although the film is fast-paced, requiring audience members to be vigilant in their attention to details as clues and suspects are revealed, the plot line is not so confusing that it becomes difficult to keep up. Rather, it is challenging and entertaining without being tiring.

The film also contains a lot of subtle humor which lightens the otherwise tense and dark atmosphere of the film.

Crowe and McAdams have great chemistry together. While maintaining a strictly platonic relationship, McAffrey and Frye know exactly how to get under each other’s skin as they effortlessly exchange playful insults.

Not only is “State of Play” wildly entertaining, but it is also somewhat thought-provoking.

Its setting in the nation’s capital and theme of political corruption and investigative journalism will resonate with audiences, especially now as questions and secrets that plagued the previous administration continue to surface.

After watching this film, audience members cannot help but question this country’s future and safety.

The film also reveals some of the dilemmas and challenges that face journalists every day.

As McAffrey and Frye discover more information about the case, they are torn as to whether they should keep it to themselves or turn over the information to the police even if it means relinquishing exclusive information, giving rival papers an advantage.

The tension between McAffrey and Frye also goes beyond their strong personalities. They serve as metaphors for the current struggle experienced by newspapers all over the country as they attempt to cling to the traditional with print newspapers while the world pushes them to modernize and convert to online-papers only.

“State of Play” is suspenseful, thrilling, humorous and thought-provoking and definitely worth a trip to the theater.

“State of Play” is in theatres now.