Satirising America : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Satirising America

Satirising America

‘A Man in Full’ is adapted from Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel of the same name.

Film: A Man in Full

Director: Regina King and Thomas Schlamme

Cast: Jeff Daniels, Bill Camp, Aml Ameen, Tom Pelphrey, Dian Lane, Sarah Jones, Lucy Liu and Chanté Adams


Where numbers, money and business are involved, I prefer pressing the skip button. I could never get past the first episode of the much-feted ‘Ozark’! But limited series ‘A Man in Full’ instantly hooks you in. Interestingly, ‘Ozark’ actor Tom Pelphrey features as Raymond Peepgrass. He is an antagonist-cum-admirer of central character Charlie Croker, a real estate mogul in Atlanta.

Played by Jeff Daniels, Croker has it all — celeb status, thanks to his star career as a college footballer, money and the means to flaunt it with his private jets and a big shiny building, Concrus, at the heart of the city. However, just as he gets over with his 60th birthday party, it all comes down as a façade. He owes $800 million to a bank and is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Here, the characters fight their own battles, with their problems/solutions intertwined. By the end of each episode, they are reduced to regular human beings trying their best to make it through the day unharmed, with the help of whatever means they deem fit.

Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel of the same name, while it wanders off greatly from the subplots and climax, it still manages to fit the bill as one of the most binge-worthy releases of the week. Wolfe took 11 years to write his novel and an adaptation has come out more than two decades later. It stands out for well translating the satirical tone of Wolfe. Out of his many gifted words to the English lexicon, ‘the right stuff’ would be apt for the series which, in many ways, satirises present-day America and leaders like Donald Trump.

The series beautifully captures the city of Atlanta. Directors Regina King and Thomas Schlamme present a parallel story of racial divide in the state of Georgia, fronted by two black actors, Aml Ameen and Jon Michael Hill. Aml as Roger White, an attorney and legal consultant of Croker, goes all out to save Conard Hensley, who is wrongfully charged.

Every man, be it Raymond Peepgrass, Harry Zale, or Mayor Wes Jordan, running for re-election, is ready to let go of morals and fight dirty. And yet, it doesn’t stoop lower than using profanities as there’s also an underlying hope for goodness in each of them. However, it is Jeff who nails the bad guy part.

Sadly, women don’t have much to add, except for Chante Adams as Conard’s wife and a victim of racial abuse. Other actresses justify their presence by looking beautiful as ever. But guess that’s what it takes to satirise ‘the toxic masculinity’ that America has been a victim of lately.

Watch out for the climax!