Mank review: David Fincher film revels in the grey

And Mank himself, self-pitying, self-destroying, desperate and delightful, “a rat caught in its own trap” (Oldman, in another remarkable performance). In a marvellous scene, Dance’s Hearst recounts Oldman’s Mank the “parable of the organ grinder’s monkey”, just after the latter has humiliated himself and Hearst in a drunken rant about the sold idealism of the newspaper baron. While the monkey thinks it is him running the show, Hearst reminds Mank, he has to “dance”, “every time”, the music plays. A newspaper baron with journals thriving in scandals and a career prospering by virtue of political dalliances (Hearst, played by the always commanding Dance). A long-suffering wife whose love and devotion cut through Mank’s thick skin (Middleton as Sara). (Photo: Netflix)Mank movie cast: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, Tom Pelphrey, Arliss Howard, Sam Troughton, Tuppence Middleton
Mank movie director: David Fincher
Mank movie rating: Four stars
In this era of black and white, Mank revels in the grey, literally. The film does him, Hollywood, and William Randolph Hearst on whom Citizen Kane’s protagonist was largely based, supreme justice by acknowledging and capturing this complexity. There is another presence that Fincher does well to focus on in his telling of the making of Citizen Kane, the candidacy of Left-leaning Upton Sinclair for the governorship of California, which sees the tinsel town gang up against him. Made by Fincher from a screenplay by his father Jack Fincher, on the making of Citizen Kane — a film often voted as among the greatest of all time — it is named after the man who may have written that movie all by himself, and seen all the limelight go to Orson Welles. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. An actress reduced in popular imagination to a dumb mistress, who can be heartbreakingly smart and honest (Seyfried luminous as Hearst’s love Marion Davies). However, for all his ideals, principles, wit and scorn at Hollywood, Herman Mankiewicz, or Mank, is a man who has built his success on the showbiz’s same flinty principles — and somewhere deep inside, in his booze-addled stupor, realises it. Welles, played by British actor Tom Burke, is more of a presence than an actual character, the wunderkind from the East, the outsider who threatens to pull down the scaffolding on which rests Hollywood’s exclusive club.×1.png
Mank captures the life of Mankiewicz between essentially 1933 and 1940, when America was in the midst of the Depression and watching uneasily, but from far, the gathering clouds of World War II. As Sinclair is portrayed as promoting “anti-American” values, with MGM lending its might to a campaign that would now be described as fake news, Mank is forced to confront his own compromises and little lies. It would also lead him to Citizen Kane — while on the bed with a broken leg, away from friends and family and fighting for a drink despite alcohol slowly claiming him — as well as his only Oscar. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd A studio owner whose only god is money (Pelphrey, great as MGM’s Louis B Meyer). Don't Miss These StoriesMank review: David Fincher film revels in the greyTenet review: Christopher Nolan film is so underwhelming and confusingAnil Kapoor tests negative for coronavirusClick here for more

That realisation is a glimpse of the bitterness that would eventually lead Mank to finding himself jobless in Hollywood, particularly after his decision to take on Hearst with Welles’ backing. As Mank explains it to a friend, “We have got a huge responsibility, to people in the dark willingly checking their disbelief at the door.”
Mank is streaming on Netflix. Written by Shalini Langer

Updated: December 4, 2020 9:44:47 pm

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