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Can we be certain that Boris Johnson will remain in a fallen state even after reading "The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson" review?
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Can we be certain that Boris Johnson will remain in a fallen state even after reading “The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson” review?

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Dear God, this documentary that consists of four parts follows the journey of our loud former prime minister (2019-2022). It may be too early for this documentary to be released. Can we be certain that he will not rise again? If there was ever someone who could make a comeback, it would be him.

Regardless. We must prepare ourselves and begin at the start of this unfortunate story. His early life – privileged but unhappy – is depicted without needing to justify or forgive the man. The offspring were raised by their father, Stanley, who had a detrimental effect due to his womanizing ways. His mistreatment of Boris’s kind and artistic mother is well-known to the public and it resulted in her being hospitalized at the Maudsley for a few months after experiencing a breakdown. (Acquaintances of Stanley claimed he was deeply apologetic and it was an isolated incident.) The couple divorced and Boris was sent off to boarding school.

The individuals interviewed are increasingly coming from the fields of journalism and politics, sharing their perspectives on Johnson at different ages. One such individual is Toby Young, Johnson’s classmate at Oxford and part of the influential trio with David Cameron and Michael Gove. Young recalls Johnson’s early and clear ambition. Petronella Wyatt, with whom Johnson had an affair during their time at the Spectator, reveals that beneath his comedic persona, Johnson is actually shy, vulnerable, and lacking in friends. (She is considered a supporter of Johnson, by the way.) In his biography, Andrew Gimson remembers Johnson trying to persuade him not to write the book, with Johnson joking that a comical angle would be acceptable but revealing the truth about him would be detrimental.

What would it be like to lead a life where your intelligence and self-awareness prevent you from fully succumbing to societal expectations and allow you to find inner peace? These are thought-provoking questions to contemplate (and ultimately care less about) as the aftermath of Johnson’s actions continue to wreak havoc on the people and country. The documentary methodically uncovers his deceit and schemes as a journalist, a politician, and an individual. Although we have experienced them firsthand, it is quite impactful to see them presented chronologically (and their consequences).

Do you remember when he was elected as MP for Henley and promised his voters that he would resign from his position as a columnist for the Telegraph, but had previously told the newspaper that he wouldn’t run for parliament? A trivial matter, my dear friends. Let’s continue towards Brexit and his decision to support leaving the EU despite being a pro-EU figure for many years. Remember those outlandish things he wrote about Brussels? They were just meant to be clickbait. According to Gimson, he is more of a showman than a journalist – fact-checking is for boring people. His former deputy, Sonia Purnell, recalls him hyping himself up for his deadlines by yelling at the yucca plant on his desk, in order to get into the right mindset for another rant. Together with Gove, he led the campaign for leaving the EU and ultimately won.

The series effectively illustrates these distinct atrocities – the other two episodes, which are available for review, take us through his time as the unbelievable foreign secretary and his eventual installation as prime minister – amidst the larger background of how he managed to escape consequences and become a beloved public figure (we are reminded of cringe-worthy moments from his days on Have I Got News for You?, as mayor of London, during the Olympics, and on the zipwire). After years of robotic Blairite politicians who stayed on message and managed the country in a boring manner that caused harm to as few people as possible, Johnson was a refreshing and recognizable character. His “gaffes” made him appear to be a truth-teller, and his bumbling nature seemed so naive that it couldn’t possibly be an act – who would intentionally want to appear that unintelligent? Even news of multiple affairs hitting the press only added to his image as a fun and unpredictable figure. And thus, the stage was set.

Do we merit it? Was he comparable to the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters in politics, summoned by naive optimists and causing destruction? Has his downfall been as agonizing as his rise has made life for countless others? Most importantly, will he make a recovery? And if he does, who will come to our aid?

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Source: theguardian.com