d. by Sidney Lumet
Well, first of all this is a remarkable film. It has so much to say, it’s a bit difficult to grasp all in one short review. It’s pretty obvious what’s it about, the nation under the “tube” and all the influence that will have on future generations (scarily accurate, but not something prophetic like I’ve heard people say. You didn’t need much to know back then to know where the society was heading).
Leaving aside the Fight Club-esque revelations(for the younger generations) and messages, I would want to focus on the characters of Beale and Diana. The former, clearly affected by his damaged life, becomes this psychotic yet appealing figure for the public and money-making machine for the network. Yeah, Alex Jones strikes to mind. It’s really interesting how he is never taken seriously on his content but he is a toy that is being played to the audience to make them feel better. They don’t really dwell on his rants, as long as he talks to people as important factors on the future of their nation, they love it and they feel important. On the other side TV network are raving on controversy, and they want more because controversy is what sells.
I might be reaching a bit here but I think it’s really accurate of what is happening in the world. We have the masses who basically don’t do nothing, unemployed or having existentialist crisis, and they want to be known, they want to be heard. So they go support organizations like Occupy St. or insert any other revolutionary org here. And their equivalent of ” I am mad as hell and I cannot take this anymore” shout on the window, is a share/like on Facebook. That makes them feel good, feel important. That’s why most of the intnl people who were praising Morsi in Egypt for winning the elections fair and correct, are now praising the military for the coup. Because as long as there are people on the street, “they cannot take this anymore, man” so they rebel.
There is a very thin line between being oppressed and being ignorant and this film shows us best.
Also, Diana is a very interesting character, I’d like to draw parallels to the character of Vickers in Prometheus. A person who is so blinded by career and her work, she uses everything to satisfy her ego, and her relationship with Max, while in the beginning I thought it was unnecessary, it was beautifully build to give us one of the greatest speeches on film history, and made me realize Max knew what he was doing from the beginning.
As I mentioned before I didn’t want to go on deconstructing the bigger picture, the influence of TV and dehumanization of the individual, because those are fairly obvious statements but need say those are very strongly transmitted, sometimes even force fed to the viewer and that is the only slight negative I could get from this great film.