Before I begin my review on this particular film, I think it’s only fair for me to say that I myself am a smoker. That being said, I was fully expecting a film that was going to jump on the popular bandwagon and preach all the evils of tobacco with the lead character (a fast-talking tobacco lobbyist) seeing the error of his ways and becoming a rabid warrior against smoking.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn otherwise. In fact, the film neither condones nor condemns cigarettes. It’s more focused on satire about publicity spin, shady politics, and the freedom of choice.
I like that.
Granted, the leading character Nick Naylor does come across as being pretty evil with a job like defending cigarettes and being the most visible target for people to throw their rotten tomatoes at. And his co-workers seem to be the hobgoblins of destruction, as are his drinking buddies who represent the interests of firearms and alcohol.
But at the same time the publicly accepted “good guys”, the political figures and concerned citizens who are bound and determined to stamp out the evil companies like the tobacco industry, are going out on limbs to the point of absurdity in order to make sure everyone makes the right decision when it comes to potentially hazardous products like cigarettes.
Personally, I can get behind any movie where the public villain champions the idea of adults being allowed to be responsible for their own actions if a product is legal and the information about the dangers of that product is readily available.
While the film is certainly satire, it does leave a lot to ponder about how things might be running in this country. I’d recommend it to anyone, smokers and non-smokers alike.
Film information: Thank You For Smoking