It is nearly impossible to read a review of David Mamet’s work now without the critic noting the playwright’s conservative politics.I accomplish the near-impossible
Subtextually, the film is a political allegory. This story didn’t have to be about Spector (played by Al Pacino). It could have been about anybody. To understand the allegory, it’s helpful to pay attention to the gigantic disclaimer as the film begins:And chief among the problems a successful businessman has is maintaining a supply of weaponry to keep the staff in line.
This is a work of fiction. It's not "based on a true story." ... It is a drama inspired by actual persons on a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, nor to comment upon the trial or its outcome.
Get it? Mamet is telling the audience this is a political allegory.
So what is that allegory?
Spector is the stand-in for the successful American entrepreneur. He is persecuted simply because he is successful, famous and rich. The liberal media, eager as it always is to tear down success, demonize him. Baden is provided as the rational thinker, Mamet’s idealized American who weighs the evidence, logically considers all the angles and ultimately gives Spector the benefit of the doubt. Mamet’s deeper political agenda then, it that rather than immediately condemning the successful man because of what his attackers claim, people take the rational route of actually using their mind and examining evidence before condemning anyone.