Friday, October 6

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House Review

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House
Dir: Peter Landesman
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Maika Monroe, Josh Lucas, Michael C. Hall, Tony Goldwyn, and Bruce Greenwood

It’s been more than 40 years since the United States was at the center of one of the greatest political scandals of all time, Watergate. An informant, known then as “Deep Throat”, brought information to reporter Bob Woodward from the Washington Post detailing the involvement of President Richard Nixon’s administration in the Watergate Scandal. This information would eventually lead to the resignation of Nixon from the office of the Presidency.

In 2005 former Federal Bureau of Investigation Associate Director Mark Felt came forward as the whistleblower in 1972. While many people, including President Nixon, suspected Mr. Felt of being the informant back in the 1970’s, it remained a secret for 30 years until he was motivated by his family to reveal the secret. Regarded by some as courageous and by others as a threat, Mr. Felt’s story is captivating, the stuff that Hollywood loves to produce. It is also a far too pertinent reminder of the current political landscape in America.

Director and writer Peter Landesman, who began his career as an investigative journalist and war correspondent for a few National outlets, constructs the focus of the film strictly on Felt as the workingman trying to navigate within the system. The viewer witnesses Felt challenged along the investigative path, we see the secret whispers and meetings in shadowed hallways, there is also some perspective into the problems happening within the world during the 70’s. While Felt is documented extensively within his role as “Deep Throat”, we are never given much perspective into the man away from the scandal. Small pieces of information are offered to hint at a person who is struggling with numerous aspects of life, for instance within his family structure that details an alcoholic wife and a daughter that gets caught up in the changing tides of culture. As the film progresses, it almost feels like we are getting farther from the emotional perspective that would make his character have more substance. Without more depth for the character the film instead functions as a by-the-numbers historical drama, one the struggles to find pacing and rhythm throughout.

Without Liam Neeson this film would be harder to sit through. Mr. Neeson, with his gray hair and stoic stance, has a commanding presence in the film. You can feel the conviction of Felt’s belies on Mr. Neeson’s face. The rest of the cast is a group of recognizable stars that do the best they can with what little depth for characters that is displayed here.

“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House” may not offer anything new concerning the Watergate scandal. However, it establishes an intriguing aspect of tension once the film picks up the pace near the end, making it feel more like the thrilling political drama it was trying for. The story of Mark Felt has some intriguing character concepts; unfortunately the execution of the film never taps into the prospect of showing a how this event came to define the life of one man.

Monte’s Rating

2.50 out of 5.00

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