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Tony Blair: My Part in His Downfall (2007)

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June 2007 (UK)  »

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Funny and interesting look alternative look at Tony Blair's resignation
12 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

As Tony Blair steps down as Prime Minister, this documentary looks back at the end of an era in regards satirical impressionist Rory Bremner. Starting with the challenges associated with getting satire out of Blair when he first came to power on a wave of optimism, the film follows the development of Bremner's satire with the role of Alistair Campbell bringing out a very sensitive nerve within the New Labour camp through to the Iraq war, which saw the easy laughs toned down in favour of satire so sharp that sometimes it was hard to know whether to laugh of cry.

In a week filled with news programmes and documentaries about Tony Blair, this one was actually one of the strongest as it reviews the Bremner, Bird & Fortune programme rather than Blair himself. I remember the original impersonations by Bremner, which focused on the light, perhaps hollow presentation of Blair before getting their teeth into the nature of "spin" and the role of Campbell and of course the issue of Iraq. The film does do a great job of capturing and analysing this shift wave of satire without it being gushing praise of the show. Instead it is thoughtful and observant with good contributions and use of clips. As a viewer of the show and the specials, the change was obvious and indeed I remember commenting on how the humour was secondary to the commentary and criticism in their thoughtful, intelligent and depressing specials on Iraq.

The documentary looks back on that, providing humour by reliving the clips but not shying away from the fact that the trio did become more and more scathing, particularly when Iraq occurred and laughs were also totally sidelined in favour of out and out criticism of the direction that they Government had taken us. I suspect the show will have limited appeal if you just read about it, but there is plenty here for even the casual viewer with little knowledge of Bremner, Bird & Fortune. Insightful, funny and interesting documentary that made for makes for an interesting alternative look at the idea of Tony Blair stepping down.


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