Monday, 7 March 2016

Truth Review

'Truth' is the latest biographical drama to hit the big screen and is the story of CBS News asking the question of whether George W Bush fulfilled his duties in the military. Now would 'Truth' create a suspenseful drama full of interesting twists? Or would it be a poor look at the true events of 2004?

'Truth' is the story of  CBS creating a news story questioning the presidents duties in previous wars. Once the authenticity of the report is questioned, producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) and lead anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) are heavily questioned as controversy surrounds them and the rest of the team involved with the story.

With the huge success of 'Spotlight', it seems like we're going to get a huge influx of these media investigations and it'll become the next over saturated trend in film.  Being perfectly honest, if they were all at the high quality of 'Spotlight', I would have no problem with it. However they could all end up being like 'Truth'. 

'Truth' is not a bad film to be fair. It's very boring though. The film struggles to really grab the attention of the audience and this is a problem with it's 2 hours and 5 minutes run time. This is far too long for this film and you will find yourself checking your watch hoping for the end to finally come. The subject matter really isn't that interesting and most of the time spent is trying to see if the documents used are legitimate sources. They spend time checking old typewriters and Microsoft Word to see if they match up. How riveting. 

What was great about 'Spotlight' was seeing all of the members of the team show a real passion to their story and really putting in the effort to create a great story and publish the truth. In 'Truth' Mary and Dan seem to be thee only ones really pushing for this. We see the other members of the team trying to contact sources on the phone and that's about it. We hear about other contacts doing work but we never see them so how can we appreciate or have interest in what they are doing? You can't really.

The CBS team

The film is really quite bleak as well. The settings of the film are all very dark and gloomy which I don't think helps in keeping your attention. It's all just so drab. Once the camera focuses on the likes of a computer screen, it hurts your eyes as you haven't been exposed to the brightness. This should happen once you leave the cinema really, not a couple of times during the feature film.

Truthfully, I don't even think there was much of a need in this film being made. The purpose of the film is questioning the presidents duties. But in the end it isn't even cleared up or pushed any further. It just ends with them continuing to question the motives of Mapes and the legitimacy of the documents. The questions put in the first place are just dropped and that's it. With this being the outcome it made the experience worse for me. With it not being particularly interesting throughout the film and not having a great payoff or any at all really, I couldn't help but leave feeling disappointed. 

The performances in this film are something to be positive about though. Cate Blanchett produced a strong performance as troubled but determined Mary Mapes. The conflicts that the character goes through was shown clearly through Blanchett's acting and was a saving grace for the film. Robert Redford was also very good as Dan Rather. Being Scottish, I don't have a great knowledge of the man so I wouldn't be able to tell you if the depiction was accurate or not. All I know was that Redford produced a performance that we expect from an actor of his calibre.

Strong performances from Redford and Blanchett

At the end of the film, it started to add a bit more humour to the film. These short bits made the film a bit more enjoyable. In the end though it was too little too late for me. If the film had done this throughout most of the film, it would of created a bit more life in it and made it more entertaining for the audience. 

Final Verdict: Truth = C-
'Truth' overall is not very interesting nor exciting. I would not recommend that you go out and see this. Not one for the ages and I will probably have forgotten all about this film by next week. Nothing really memorable and I wouldn't say that you'd be missing anything if you decide to pass on 'Truth'.

So if you've seen 'Truth' what did you think? I hope you enjoyed it more than I did. Once again thank you so much for reading, it means a lot!

By Angus McGregor