First let me say that I agree with Michael Moore’s general premise in his documentary Capitalism: A Love Story that corporate greed is out of hand and that average citizens are paying the price. I think many people do. What I was hoping to see was informative examples and enlightening arguments to support his point of view.
What I got was a depressing visual essay in which Moore used loads of stock footage to illustrate his feelings. That is not to say that there were no good points made or that the archival material wasn’t effective at times. The best use of classic footage was the opening montage – a black and white reenactment about the fall of Rome intercut with recent American political figures. But the old clips used to demonstrate the ideals of capitalism, the weaknesses of capitalism, the promise of the American dream, the failure of the American dream, and everything leading up to them was very heavy handed. Perhaps Moore was trying to lighten the mood but instead gave the film a cartoon-like feel.
Moore is always strong when he hits the road in search of help for the common man. Demanding money back from the banks with a burlap sack and attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of bank managers are funny reminders of how badly the banks have ripped off the people of this country. There are also some salient examples of ripping off tactics. Moore shared some now all too familiar touching stories of foreclosure victims duped by unethical mortgage loans. And, I was surprised to learn that corporations take out million dollar life insurance policies on their workers.
The movie needed more interviews from the opposing side or people who used to work for the opposing side. We all know what the problem is. But WHY do bigwigs think they are justified in hurting the little guy?
The movie ends with Moore inviting viewers to join him in putting a stop to capitalism and corporate greed. He didn’t give examples in the film but you can find some on the Capitalism: A Love Story website. Overall, the movie made good points but lacked depth. It was terribly depressing yet slightly inspiring at the same time. After paying to see the movie, I am left with this question: how much of my $9 goes to the mega-media giant Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Vantage who is one of the producers of this film?