Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Frost/Nixon" (2008) - Movie Review

The interviews which happened in real life when it is combined with the drama behind it along with a documentary interview style together in “Frost/Nixon”, it appears to be a boxing match. Then when the moment of truth comes out, it becomes into this slit through the darkened object splashing light out. The emotion of truth is unbelievable in the expressions of Frank Langella as Richard Nixon, the disgraced former President of the United States.

A colourful UK TV talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) draws resurgence in his career as that of Nixon who is looking for a come back in reputation. Frost goes beyond measures to get Nixon to the chair opposite to him. He pays nearly six hundred thousand dollars to the man with the hopes of getting time from the prime networks which gets rejected by the presumption towards the inability of Frost in bringing the right justice to the people who got humiliated by the betrayal from their President. That puts him to syndicate his own enterprise. He recruits along with his producer John Birt (Mathew Macfadyen) two people on his team, one being Bob Zelnik (Oliver Platt) and the other a passionate James Reston Jr. (Sam Rockwell) angry like every other American for Nixon going unapologetically. Frost goes all in with his finance and image for a swoop in to the mix as Nixon wants too. But in a passion of success comes the truth from a man who firmly believed in the rightness in his wrongdoings.

With glee and an inch of make up Frost is a walking exemplified version of media persona as the power of Television was cutting through the society in politics and glamour. He is seen as a good entertainer with flashy topics taking him out of the crowd of general politics and the debate of the intellectuals as they say. To be put in a crude language is that Frost entering the arena of this political mind game looks like a failing amateur. He lets the man who commands his terms on long speeches and winding addiction for stories going beyond times roll Frost’s dices and laugh at the chances. He gets crumbled as the interviews begin.

The eventual resurrection of Frost’s fiasco in the interview which spanned 12 days from the hands of Nixon is the phone call the President makes in an odd time over a Friday night to Frost. There both men comes out candidly, especially Nixon. They understand the line they stand with their character on the boards. And at that conversation they are after the same thing but Frost realizes that he has come to the strata of Nixon and that brings him out of the clouds of being second rating himself. That phone call becomes the last calling for Frost while Nixon in buzz loses his emotion which only unfolds further in the final section of the interview.

Director Ron Howard does an interesting thing with the film. He recreates the interviews and also gives us this documentary styled interviews from the people involved in the time. Of course the actors do the role again adding the sense of reality for the script by Peter Morgan springing from the actual events. That tool shaves the layer of dramatization away which would mostly be the downfall for a film depicting the real life instances.

“Frost/Nixon” cinematize the drama behind the scenes while carefully constructs the reality happened as that of the interview. It focuses on the men who at the end of it becomes good sportsman despite a lose so humungous, humiliating and self loathing. When Frost meets Nixon one last time after the interview, there is a state of appreciation and funnily a camaraderie in between these two.

Howard has a sense of the entertainment and also the greater sense of giving the right material its right treatment but beyond that has the sense of cinema as the medium of giving something more than what reality sometime diminishes itself. It is the state of that instance where the mood beckons something more from the sounds which mauls the poeticism in the air of reality. That is given through the technical ability the art provides from the cinematography of Salvadore Totino, music by Hans Zimmer and the beauty of the performances from Frank Langella and Michael Sheen.

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