Thank You For Smoking (2005) Review

CC-by-sa & literature
CC-by-sa & literature

Thank You For Smoking is 2005 satire/comedy from Director Jason Reitman starring Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor, the top Lobbyist of the Tobacco-Industry. It starts with a American talk show where Robin, a 15 year old cancer patient, is brought in as an example of how dangerous cigarettes can be. On the one side we have the President Of Mothers Against Teen Smoking, The Chairwoman of the Lung Association and a Top Aide from Health and Human Services, on the other side however, sits Nick Naylor. Smiling while the entire audience booes at him.  In a silent monologue he introduces himself to the viewer by stating out the fact that he represents a company that practically kills 1200 humans every single day for a living. He goes on to compare himself to Attila the Hun and Genghis who don’t even come close to his death count.

You’d think the talk show wouldn’t go too well for him. Well, within a few sentences the shockingly eloquent Spokesman proves you dead wrong. By turning the accusations around and blaming the others for trafficking human misery.  Because as he later elaborates to his son, “if you can prove that your opponent is wrong – you’re right. Even if you aren’t.”

The film demonstrates how a billion-dollar industry operates in a legal grey area with morally highly questionable motives and also the struggle Nick has to go through by being a good role model for his son but also continuing his job.

The film definitely raises a few questions and is a must see (in my opinion) with a great lead performance by Aaron Eckhart.