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Moral of the Movie - Review

Mank (2020)

Drama/Biopic, Directed by David Fincher | Rating: Memorable One-Night Stand | Published: Sept. 2, 2022, 12:07 p.m.


The moral lies somewhere between being passionate about what you do, a writer’s integrity, and the self-destructive behaviors of alcoholism. In a way, the film serves as a typical tale of the American Dream and the importance of sticking by what you believe in even if it will almost certainly displease a lot of people in the process. Overall, Mank (2020) is a testament to the power that films and storytelling bear when put in the context of politics, social relationships, and mass manipulation.


If you are fan of classic movies such as Citizen Kane (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), and Sunset Boulevard (1950) among others, then you will surely get the most out of this modern take on a part of film history. Additionally, you will especially enjoy this film if you’ve ever been interested in what moviemaking was like behind the scenes during what is considered to be the “Golden Age of Hollywood.”


Having seen several of David Fincher’s films, it is safe to say that this film stands out in his filmography full of thrillers and is more of a biopic along the lines of The Social Network (2010) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), which he also directed. Mank (2020) has a lot of history and sentimental value for David Fincher as it is based on a script written by David Fincher’s own father, Jack Fincher. As such, the entire film is an expression of love to filmmaking and Fincher’s father. If you haven’t seen Citizen Kane (1941), I would strongly recommend watching it right before watching Mank (2020) in a sort of double feature. That’s why I did and I think that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year in terms of movie-watching. I say this because, while it’s not necessary, you will come to appreciate Mank and its nuances that much more having come directly off watching the influential Citizen Kane (1941). What stuck out the most to me was the fact that Fincher use identical narrative devices and structure in this film as those in Citizen Kane (1941). Watching this film genuinely felt like watching a classic movie made in the 1940s. From the acting to the cinematography and the music, everything about this film feels like a part of the Classical Hollywood era. For this reason, it may seem a bit mundane or boring to some, but if you come to appreciate how incredible it is that Fincher managed to do this in 2020, then you will enjoy the overall film experience that much more. I found the plot and the characters to be quite fascinatingly intricate yet intimate. We spend a lot of time with them to the point that we feel like we know them. “You cannot capture a man's entire life in two hours. All you can hope is to leave the impression.” Fincher successfully manages to leave an impression of Herman J. Mankiewiecz’s life and of how he managed to write one of the most influential screenplays in film history. All in all, Mank (2020) is a supremely well-made film on all fronts (writing, directing, acting, cinematography, music, etc.) and I would highly recommend this look into the business and art of storytelling.

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