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Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House - a review


One of the things that used to bother me about Hollywood productions was the insistence on spoonfeeding audiences about locations: "London, England", "Paris, France" or "Dublin, Ireland". I often wonder if audiences are not smart enough to figure it out for themselves, particularly as the establishing shot includes Big Ben, the London Eye, or the Eiffel Tower! Having lived in three states in the US for three separate periods of my life, the confusion with Paris, Texas or Dublin, California is possibly understandable?

Hollywood's insistence on spoonfeeding us continues with Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House. Any student of history or anyone who has seen All The President's Men will know who Mark Felt is. Do we need the byline? Apparently so.

This is the story of Mark Felt, who under the name "Deep Throat" helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1972. Felt is played with restraint by Liam Neeson in a role which requires him to retain a poker face during tense scenes. No problemo! The rest of the cast is instantly forgettable.

Watching this, it should have been a Netflix mini-series. The story does not support 103 minutes of narrative. 1973, All the President's Men is the film this will be compared to and it presents the flip-side of the story. Alan J Pakula's 1976 film is the better. One wonders why it took 41 years for Mark Felt's story to come out. The moment has been lost and the Water Gate zeitgeist has moved on. That's the main problem with this film. It is so late in the telling, does anyone care anymore?

The narrative is all over the place. Unless you were a student of or had knowledge of the events, this film will do little for you.

Wait for it to come on TV.


 

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