Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

Stars : George Clooney, David Strathairn, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella,  Jeff  Daniels, Tate Donavon.

Directed By :  George Clooney.

Written By : George Clooney, Grant Heslov.

Truth can be a burden and not many have the guts to shoulder that burden. Edward R Murrow one of the legendary presenters of American television along with his team headed by his co-producer Fred Friendly were few men who shouldered the burden of truth. A team which stood for what they believed in.

In 1950's Edward R Murrow and his team stood against Senator Joseph McCarthy during his crusade to root out Communist elements within the government. They put their career and their image at stake to let people know the other side of the coin. They brought to fore front the ugly tactics and policies used by Senator McCarthy and his men which resulted in a public feud between Murrow and senator McCarthy. They defied corporate and sponsorship pressures to bring down the reign of terror created by McCarthy and his men.

The 4-5 years of Edward's crusade against McCarthy's tactics presented in the movie are really a worth watch. The movie, although released in black and white, was filmed on color film stock but on a grayscale set, and was later color corrected to black and white during post-production. The movie is on the theme of media responsibility, and also addresses what occurs when the media offer a voice of dissent against the government.

David Strathairn plays Edward R Murrow, though I have seen just the pictures of Mr. Murrow but I feel he was a perfect choice for the role. The intensity on his face suited the character to perfection. In scenes with Dan a colleague  and news presenter at the channel reflect the true depth of Murrow's character and Straithairn's acting powers. He is brilliant when he is on air , maintains that look and his eyes always spoke a lot. George Clooney as Friendly is good too and does a commendable job in the supporting role. This is one of the movies which reflect the Hollywood's belief of keeping the content above star power. George Clooney limiting himself in a small supporting role and letting Strathairn take the center stage in his own movie,I feel says a lot about the actor. Robert Downey, Jr. and Patricia Clarkson are part of small sub plot and both perform well. Actually the support cast , everyone did a fine job in their small role. Whether it was presenting terror, guilt, joy or courage they all brought it well on the screen.

Picking up pieces from history can lead to a story but to put those bits and pieces into full movie need a really good mind. George Clooney and Grant Heslov have done a wonderful job with the screenplay and the story. They kept the thought of the movie intact but also brought in some poignant moments in between like the sub-plot of Don Hollenbeck and his struggle to come at terms with his broken marriage and published attacks from Jack O' Brian which ultimately led to him committing suicide.

George Clooney the actor had limited screen presence and impact but George Clooney the director had the most impact. The movie is very intense and George Clooney deserves credit for making the movie even more effective with his super fine direction. Sometimes movies of such intensity do tend to go slow and drag a bit but this movie never losses the pace. I think keeping the movie black and white also added to movie's depth. The movie was deservedly nominated for 6 Academy Awards including best picture , best actor and best director.

Its an excellent movie which deserves accolades for every aspect. Its a must watch from my side, so I hope someone will watch it after reading this and if anyone does please let me know how you felt till then "GOOD NIGHT, and GOOD LUCK".

Plus : Performance and direction.

Minus : None

Rating : 9/10
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