The power of House of Cards
1 Jul 2015
by Alessandro Nardone
No getting around it: the policy, this policy – as stated caustic Rino Formica – “is blood and shit”; if you adapt you’re part of the game, otherwise you’re out. Who would (still) need confirmation to that effect – provided that it is still fiction and as such should not fall into the error to take it literally, but rather enjoy it literally – you can safely substitute for some time increasingly boring talk show with the famous American television series House of Cards, based on the rise to power of Frank Underwood, ruthless leader Dem Congress who, with his wife, Claire, weaves a plan to climb to power that stands to archetype of Machiavellianism 2.0 .
The ingredients are all there, and are of excellent quality, starting with the interpreters of the two protagonists, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, episode after episode, they prove to be tremendously at ease in moving between the intricate power plays engineered by Michael Dobbs , author of the novel on which the series is inspired by, and carefully adapted by Beau Willimon.
The epicenter of the story is certainly made up of the troubled relationship between Frank and Claire, who are not content to be just husband and wife, but no sir – from their point of view, mind you – thus expanding the horizons until rising to the rank of members, whose aim is to support each other so that they can not accumulate money, but power. That’s right, because it explains Frank himself in one of his very effective thoughts aloud which speaks directly to the audience: “Money is like luxury villas starting to fall apart after a few years; power is the solid stone construction that has lasted for centuries. I can not respect someone who does not see this difference. “
The trigger is the failure to appoint Frank as Secretary of State, a position that had been promised by the newly elected President Garrett Walker who, from that moment onwards, will be put up in every single step right from Underwood, very cleverly, not not only show of serbargli resentment, but will capitalize on his shrewdness in managing her to the Capitol in order to appear as a key pawn in the eyes of the President, to such an extent as to make him a change in the running to appoint his Deputy.
There are no obstacles that can not be avoided if not eliminated, on the road to power, at least not for Frank, who considers everyone from the president to the last of the collaborators of his staff, like pawns to be moved according to its interest . He subdues, manipulates, shuffles the cards, holds the foot in four different shoes, threat, buy and even kill, to gain entry in the books of history not as supporting actor, but as the protagonist.
It goes without saying that Dobbs, Willimon and the other authors of such a story have drawn freely from the real one, creating a fiction that works because it confuses, and confusing pushes the viewer to strive, in an attempt to predict what will be the next move. Of course, as we said at the beginning it is fiction, but that does not mean it can not be credible, because, if it is not, does not take millions of people glued to the TV watching her, a bit ‘like watching the horizon to figure out what the exact spot which marks the boundary between sky and sea.
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