FilmReview

Review: “The Oath” Excels at Relating to the Current Political Climate

Alessandra Guarneri ‘21 Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The Oath may star some of the funniest stars in Hollywood currently, co-stars Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish, but this new film may not have you laughing hysterically at every scene.

The plot of the film is one that some may be able to relate to in one way or another, but maybe not the ending. A very high-anxiety Thanksgiving dinner takes place when a family gets together and it’s not because of the normally expected family drama. After the U.S. government announces and requires that all U.S. citizens sign an oath/loyalty pledge, an already politically divided family begins fighting and their vocal outbreaks lead to something almost unimaginable.

Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz in The Oath. Photo Credit: Roadside Attractions and Topic Studios.

Chris, played by Barinholtz, writer and director of the film, and his wife Kai (Haddish) seem to be on the same page throughout The Oath regarding their opinion on this pledge and their stance on how they will go about signing it or not. Their on-screen chemistry originally convinces audience members that everything is perfect in their family and nothing could go wrong until things go south. The government announces that they would give citizens until Black Friday to sign the pledge and this is the cause of the painfully awkward Thanksgiving which ends up causing absolute chaos in the household it takes place in. Actions that seem necessary at the time make matters worse and suddenly, things turn violent incredibly fast.

Barinholtz seemed to put a timely spin on this plot considering everything happening with the country currently. After a variety of events occurring over the past decade in the United States, many watching this film may end up believing that something like this could happen in either the near or distant future.

While the plot and its seriousness can be difficult to think about at times, Barinholtz does a perfect job at making audience members laugh during scenes throughout the film and having a healthy balance between moods. There are moments when viewers will be able to possibly relate to an awkward dinner they have had with their close or extended family and reflect on the situation in either laughter or a simple thought. Chris is someone many people may be able to relate to as well because they are like him or they have a family member like him. He is constantly watching the news, checking his phone and having outbursts about his personal differences with American politics.

Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish in The Oath. Photo Credit: Roadside Attractions and Topic Studios.

The Oath is undeniably a dark comedy film with an ideal amount of twists and turns to keep viewers eager to find out how it will end up until the final scene. It is the type of film needed right now for a multitude of reasons and will make those who watch it think about where the country is presently and where it may go futuristically. The film portrays how certain people can sometimes be blind to reality or in denial about what is genuinely happening in life or with politics.

Although some scenes are comical, the overall premise of the film is that this loyalty pledge is driving a wedge between a family and ultimately causes mayhem. It portrays how politics and sometimes things we may not be able to control can create such deep issues that may be considered unnecessary when looking at the big picture. The Oath is one that will make you subconsciously think about your actions as a citizen and person, reflect on what is going on politically and laugh at how much of a cinematic genius Ike Barinholtz is. This is not a film you want to miss while it is in theaters.

Overall Grade: A

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