Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House - Movie Review
Remember "Deep Throat?" I am not talking of the Linda Lovelace porn movie released around that time but of the pseudonym given to the notorious whistle-blower of one of the greatest scandals of all time-Watergate
'Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House'
Director: Peter Landesman
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Maika Monroe, Tony Goldwyn, Kate Walsh, Josh Lucas, Michael C. Hall, Marton Csokas, Bruce Greenwood, Ike Barinholtz, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Julian Morris, Tom Sizemore, Noah Wyle, Brian James, Wayne Pere
Remember "Deep Throat?" I am not talking of the Linda Lovelace porn movie released around that time but of the pseudonym given to the notorious whistle-blower of one of the greatest scandals of all time-Watergate. Well, 30 years later, in 2005, it was revealed by Mark Felt himself, that he was that mystery tipster who brought down the white house. This biopic basically chronicles that uncompromising life - both personal and professional, who risked and ultimately had to sacrifice his family, his career, his freedom – in the name of justice.
This film unlike the earlier fictitious Hollywood version starring Hal Holbrook and Robert Redford, tells the story from the perspective of the man, based on his book and extensive research and interviews by writer-director Peter Landesman. The movie which opens during Richard Nixon's first term literally queers the pitch for Felt's idealistic overreach. When questioned by White House counsel John Dean (Michael C. Hall) he makes it clear that the FBI knows pretty much everything and all such secrets were safe with them. It's only when the order comes after Hoover's demise, to stop investigating the Watergate break-in, that Felt tips off a friendly journalist (Bruce Greenwood). That's probably the moment when you realise Felt's rules are probably his own.
Here, Bob Woodward is played as young, inexperienced, and nervous by 24-year-old Julian Morris. Liam Neeson, plays Felt with stoic, shadowy brilliance while Diane Lane is note-perfect as his brittle, broken and troubled wife. The look put-together by Director Peter Landesman with able support from Cinematographer Adam Kimmel, Editor Tariq Anwar and Composer Daniel Pemberton has a vintage noir feel to it. Felt is barely seen in the light. The old FBI building, and his home are sparsely lit and the invocation of personal trauma (search for his missing daughter) is very much in the foreground.
The film raises questions about Felt's culpability towards personal ambition pitted against his oft-mentioned patriotic idealism. The narrative gains deeper insight while navigating the many reasons behind Felt's actions. This film's insight is in fact both exactingly precise as it is deeply paradoxical , leaving us, as an audience, enough room to ruminate on Felt's motives. And that's probably it's biggest victory!