Friday, November 18, 2005

Good Night and Good Luck

The movie is a historical documentary; so spoilers shouldn’t be an issue. I myself being a movie aficionado; know the importance of mystery and suspense in a movie; so I wouldn’t be a killjoy divulging any part of the storyline. But since it’s based on a much-known event; a reference to plot; shouldn’t matter at all…
But be warned of spoilers …

Two days back, when temperature dipped sharply and Chicago had its first round of flurries; my friend and I decided to celebrate this [non] event with a movie! We chose “Goodnight and Good luck”, and boy, it turned out to be an absolutely brilliant movie!!!

To begin with David Strathairn’s acting is mind-blowing! Makes me wonder where he was all this while; don’t recall seeing his movies. The script is taut, gripping and perfectly paced; I mean it neither races through nor slows down. It’s meticulously edited with no wasted moments. The most exalting highpoint is the articulate language used; which is crisp, gentlemanly, direct with no-frills; no melodramatic dialogues and no swear words even in the worst fits of rage and frustration. It is such a refreshing change from the much degraded language that we hear today.

It is in the backdrop of the dark period of American history - the period of witch hunt for communists in the US of A or the period of McCartheism. The story is of newscaster Edward R Murrow who waged a media war against him and eventually brought him down. The movie immediately takes the audience to the fifties milieu with Black-n-White cinematography and period costumes that reflect fashion of those days when formal pinstripe suits and button-down shirts were in vogue. What further gives an authentic stamp, is the wonderful Jazz-interludes; with relevant lyrics, which makes a person chuckle .

But the reason why this historical piece; really hits so hard, is its relevance in today’s world. Just substitute communism with terrorism and McCartheism with the US Patriot Act; and we get stark parallels! Now-a-days, we live in a vicious atmosphere of fear and suspicion and have even forsaken some of our civil liberties in the name of security. In the wake of Bush administration’s war against terrorism; any dissent to his policies is usually treated as unpatriotic and viewed as a move that will potentially strengthen our enemies. In fact this has become a good strategy to avoid public scrutiny and accountability. The movie emphatically underlines the issue that criticizing government policies do not make its citizens unpatriotic!!!

Further; it brings out the “power” and “role” of investigative journalism and mass-media in a democratic society. Though challenging the establishment is an extremely daunting task; especially with corporate control over media, sponsorship issues and rating pressures; but its still possible! We got a few outstanding precedences, if we just turn the pages of our history books!!! So the movie gives a jolt to the mass-media, while itself playing its small little role in creating awareness ... and in such an entertaining manner!!!

I’m reminded of a couple of other true-story based movies.
- “All the Presidents Men”– one of my all time favorite movies; based on the works of two journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward who exposed the Watergate scandal and brought down the Nixon administration.
- “The insider” - media versus corporate arm-twisting! A must-see real-life drama.
- “Confessions of a dangerous mind” – which was George Clooney’s first movie as a director. It was another true-story on a comedian who claimed to be an undercover CIA assassin.

With this movie, Hollywood once again plays its role in tossing around liberal ideas.
A must watch movie!!!

DIRECTOR: George Clooney
CAST: David Strathairn
Robert Downey Jr.
Patricia Clarkson
Jeff Daniels
George Clooney


At 19 November, 2005 18:13, Blogger doppelganger said...

Sounds like a good movie. Too bad it stopped showing in this little hamlet of ours.

But I have to recommend "Capote" - a stunning portrait of a remarkable man. Perfect holiday movie. I predict Philip Seymour Hofmann should get best actor( Only Joaquin Phoenix can stop him, I guess) and the movie should get best art direction as well.

But you know how it is! You think you have seen the best and another stunning performance comes along. Guess we are lucky we are not on the panel!

At 19 November, 2005 19:16, Blogger Prashanth said...

Have you seen the movie "Wag the Dog"?

At 19 November, 2005 21:16, Blogger Intern said...

[Dopple] ->
I sure am not gonna miss Capote! It's the very next movie in my priority list. Also, I love true-story based movies ...
Where's your critique on Punk rock?

[Prashanth] ->
Yeah I've seen "Wag the Dog" with cast like De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, its not a movie to miss!!! In fact I've seen a whole lot of DeNiro's movies ...
As fantasy novels is your passion, movies is mine!!!

At 19 November, 2005 23:50, Blogger Artful Badger said...

I need to see this movie. I remember seeing some of the trailors on TV. George Cloony usually makes a good movie. This isn't the first McCarthy movie. 1984 is also supposed to be on the totally oppressive big brother state.
Oh btw have you seen Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket on the Vietnam War. One of the better movies I have seen.

At 20 November, 2005 05:24, Blogger Intern said...

Yeah Ramani,
I've seen "Full Metal Jacket" and the training camp is deadly.

At 20 November, 2005 11:11, Blogger Prashanth said...

I was reading the novel 1984 and couldnt go past the first half. I also found "brave new world" quite boring.

At 21 November, 2005 14:41, Blogger sensiblystoned said...

Should make a note of this movie then. The name is too common to be easily forgotten.

At 21 November, 2005 21:32, Blogger Intern said...

I'm sure this movie will make an Oscar-buzz , so you wont forget it that easy!!!

AS little as I know about your taste in movies, I can still say safely , that you'll like it!


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