Films Review: “All the President’s Men” and “Lions for Lambs”
“All the President’s Men” (1976) Review
Watergate scandal is one of the biggest intrigues in the history of the world politics. The names of the journalists who told the truth to the world will be known for many years. “All the President’s Men” is a smart, intelligent, exciting and profound film that is based on the real documents of the journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who worked for the newspaper Washington Post. They managed to get the facts regarding fraud during the election of President Richard Nixon in 1972. Publications in Washington Post spawned a political scandal on an unprecedented scale, which led to the series of arrests, the initiation of impeachment of Nixon, and his resignation.
Shooting his film just three years after these events, the director Alan J. Pakula achieved a striking effect: the audience and even the critics perceived the well-known story as a gripping thriller and a dynamic detective. It is not surprising that the movie was very successful and became one of the highest-grossing films of the 70s.
The depth and meticulous screening of the journalists who did useful and effective work, searching for the truth, is impressive. I believe that the movie “All the President’s Men” is culturally important because it helps to understand that the press may be the fourth power. Journalism interferes with the game of senior politicians, influencing the minds and attitudes of ordinary citizens.
Speaking about the cast, the duet of Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman is remarkable. They masterfully showed how perseverance, human labor, and desire could help to get to the truth. Searching for informants, persuading them to give an interview, evening imprinting of received information as well as other various mass media tricks are presented in the work of the journalists. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein unraveled a tangle of abuse, fraud and other violations of the law by high-ranking officials in the Republican Party and the White House.
The plot of the film is developing very slowly, gradually immersing the viewer into a world of political intrigue, fraud, and ambition. The director Alan J. Pakula transferred universal portraits of people blinded by their power and self-confidence. Moreover, the director reflects on democracy, allowing the viewers to draw their conclusions.
Indeed, in order to benefit from viewing of “All the President’s Men”, one should know the history of the Watergate scandal because many issues will not be understandable without knowing the problem.
A lot of names, different detective moves, as well as complicated situations, make the movie extremely thrilling. Many episodes of “All the President’s Men” reveal historical accuracy and it will be interesting for the fans of history, politics, and good movies.
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“Lions for Lambs” (2007) Review
“Lions for Lambs” is a very modern and extremely topical film about human honor and dignity, about immaturity and patriotism, as well as about understanding and misunderstanding of society and time in which this society should live.
“Lions for Lambs” tells three stories that are closely intertwined. In the first story, Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise) is trying to convince the experienced journalist Janine Roth (Meryl Streep) about the feasibility of a new military strategy in Afghanistan. He wants to get support and approval of society with the help of the press. Janine Roth knows that the press influences human consciousness greatly and does not want to risk. Senator is trying to convince the journalist that the “new” strategy will enable the country to put an end to all the threats in order to instill confidence in citizens’ minds, as well as to build and strengthen the US position in the world. He strongly believes that a victory cannot happen without a defeat.
In the second story, Professor Malley (Robert Radford) is talking with his best student, who decided to quit his studies at the university. He relates the main argument to his two students who dropped out of the university and joined the army. This story demonstrates how difficult is to find the truth in the surrounding world for the current generation of teenagers.
The third story narrates about these two former students, who are found in the mountains of Afghanistan, embodying the military strategy of Senator Jasper Irving under the Taliban fire. Maimed, freezing, almost without arms, two young men cannot even imagine that someone would like to walk in their footsteps. Apparently, they are well aware that their ideals have fallen. They realize that the person who sent them to the war is sitting in the warm room and talking about the new strategies that will lead the country to the victory.
Three stories are accurately interwoven and tied into a strong knot of eternal questions that should be answered: What is war? What sense does it have? Where is the place of morality and patriotism during the war? For whom or for what should the man kill the others and die himself?
After viewing “Lions for Lambs”, I realized that this film combines not just three stories; it presents three little lives, which include all the human feelings, fears, and relationships. Not all people will like this movie, but the viewers who are interested in politics and meaningful plots will find it brilliant.
“Lions for Lambs” is full of revelations, descriptions of life realities and, of course, the understanding of how differently people can see the same thing.