Larry Weinstein's biting new film, "Mulroney: The Opera," may not be the cinematic tribute that Brian Mulroney had envisioned about his career. But chin up Brian. Any politician who has survived as much controversy as you should find a chuckle or two in this musical send-up.

Inspired by real events from the life of Canada's 18th prime minister, this skewering farce stars Rick Miller as the big, brassy Tory leader who once presided over this country's biggest parliamentary majority (211 seats).

Miller doesn't do the singing. That job is left to bass-baritone opera star Daniel Okulitch. But the actor melts away into the role, lip-synching throughout this spoof buried under crisp suits, salt-and-pepper hair and a prosthetic chin bigger than Mulroney's and Jay Leno's combined.

"I have the chin, I'm not afraid, I have the chin, and I will win," this hero tells us, belting out other zingers as this epic begins in 2002, just as Mulroney arrives at the House of Commons for the unveiling of his official portrait.

"This is the moment that Mulroney has dreamed of all his life and he just goes bananas," Miller told

After receiving a blasé introduction from Jean Chretien (Colin Mochrie) at the unveiling, the boy from Baie-Comeau, Que. bends the ear of a security guard, recounting his rise to power and the controversies that plagued his career.

Mulroney's boyhood dreams, his falling for Mila, his path to the Prime Minister's Office, the scandals and disgrace that followed ... Toss in plenty of accordion music and some gag references to "Raging Bull" and "From Here to Eternity" and Weinstein rakes this politico over the coals.

"Mulroney was a magnificent character to work with. In some ways he's the perfect generic politician with that deep voice and all that ego of his," Weinstein told

"I often thought of Mulroney like a Citizen Kane. I really liked Kane's character ... because I felt the inside of that man. I felt like that about Mulroney," Weinstein said.

Begun in 2005, Weinstein, composer Alexina Louie and librettist Dan Redican worked in secrecy to create this musical send-up.

When word eventually leaked out about the project, some assumed that the film would be an overly benevolent nod to Mulroney. How wrong they were.

"Mulroney: The Opera" lambastes everything from Mulroney's battles with Pierre Trudeau (parodied in a cheeky tango sequence at Meech Lake) to his shopping sprees with Mila just as stormy political winds begin to blow their way.

Mulroney's troubles with Karlheinz Schreiber only get a passing nod. But that fleeting moment produces one of the film's most outrageous scenes, in which Mulroney swims in a pool littered with money.

Attention Mr. Harper: see this movie and be forewarned

"Mulroney's almost like a Macbeth character," said Miller.

"He made mistakes and his ego got bruised. Opera is a perfect medium for so much ambition and arrogance -- two things that contributed to Mulroney's downfall," he said.

How Mulroney will react, if he ever sees this film, remains to be seen.

"We haven't heard a thing yet from his office," said Weinstein. "He knows it's out there. He won't be able to escape it."

Originally begun in collaboration with the CBC, the film was vetted by a team of lawyers. According to Weinstein, "Mulroney: The Opera" is a fair portrait and one he hopes will be used in schools for years to come.

"I'm not sure how history will judge Mulroney," said Weinstein.

"When I made this movie I thought we'd never see another Conservative government elected to power. Now look at us. Canada's electorate is very fickle. But after doing this movie I have far more sympathy for Mulroney."

Miller shared the same feeling.

"People tend to portray Trudeau as a hero and Mulroney as a devil in Canada. I'm not a political expert. But I felt that where Mulroney was concerned there were more colours to be found in the palette."

"Think of it this way Brian. Trudeau got a CBC movie. You got the opera."

("Mulroney: The Opera" will play at Cineplex and Empire Theatres across the country on Saturday, April 16 at 1 p.m. local time, and again on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. local time.)