How many times have I come across the name of the film Citizen Kane on most lists of the best films of all time on several sites on the internet? Uniquely, it is precisely because I see the name of the film so often that I don't really want to visit it. Until finally I read the news that David Fincher, the director who hasn't made a film with Gone Girl being his last work six years ago, will make a film about Citizen Kane . It was finally after years of meeting me that I started watching it, only for Mank .
Citizen Kane may be better known for his main producer-writer-director-star Orson Welles, but at Mank it's not him in the spotlight. Is the only script writer who became a pillar in David Fincher's eleventh film, Herman J. Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman. His name is indeed unpopular, especially when juxtaposed with the name Orson Welles which even now still resonates quite strongly, but at Mank , David Fincher shows us that the one who succeeded in carrying the whole idea of the film Citizen Kane was Herman J. Mank.
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Mank's film structure also resembles Citizen Kane . Written by Jack Fincher, father of David Fincher, Mank has something in common with Citizen Kane , where both of them tell the story of a person's resurrection and efforts to survive, both jump nimbly from past to present and vice versa, and both have main character who is obsessed with achieving something that seems very difficult for them to find: success. If in Citizen Kane there is Charles Foster Kane as a newspaper entrepreneur, at Mank there is Herman J. Mankiewicz or Mank as a scriptwriter who is in the middle of finishing his script always having problems.
The film starts with us seeing Mank who is injured in his leg after having had an accident before. That's the first problem. Then we learn that he had been invited to collaborate by a very young person, Orson Welles (played quite similarly by Tom Burke) to create a script, and what was previously given 90 days has now become 60 days. That's the second problem. He also seems to be at odds with several high-ranking officials in the film industry. That's the third problem. And he is battling his addiction to alcohol amidst injuries and a rush to write a script. That's the fourth problem.
Many I have met on social media who say that Mank does n't look like a David Fincher film. I thought, what is this David Fincher film like? Indeed this looks quite different from films like Fight Club , Zodiac or The Social Network . But all of them still have the distinctive Fincher touch that tells of someone's obsession in the middle of a world that is visually captivating but has rottenness in it.
At Mank , David Fincher not only made his world black and white by color, but also with Mank's own world, which was always filled with morality ambiguity that beat him in succession and never stopped. Black and white in a sense, in a world he recognized, he always had to choose. Whatever he wants to do, he has to choose and all his choices always have considerable harm. to escape."
Mank is also a film that may have such a straightforward story, but I also realized that there were times when I suddenly felt lost in the story. Disappearing in the sense does not mean feeling bored (and I never feel bored at all here), but how the film's story goes back and forth makes me confused by what just happened. Maybe it's been a long time since I watched a film this heavy, but there were times when I had to rewind the film (luckily it's on Netflix) and go back to listening carefully, because here there are tons of characters and stories that appear suddenly and disappear. suddenly.
What ties everything together perfectly is Gary Oldman as Mank. For two hours we see him playing a character who may seem too carefree, never really bothered about anything, but behind all his behavior is someone who is having a hard time doing his job. He covered all his tiredness with his seemingly cool behavior and his addiction to alcohol. And dude, the characters here are just plain fun to look at.
What is actually the main force in Mank is not the story, or how the film is black and white, but every character. One of the scenes that really make this film come alive and one of the moments that I love about this film is the birthday event of the producer and co-founder of MGM, Louis Mayer (Arliss Howard) where the energy of the film feels explosive and passionate. when all the guests of the event began to exchange stories about the Nazis and the war that was ravaging, communism and socialism, to politics. The conversation may be rubbish, but it's how this scene always feels alive that makes me dazzle with Mank .
And in the middle of that energetic conversation and many other interesting scenes in the film is Mank, played by Gary Oldman. As a Mank, he is able to play a character 20 years younger than his age with his ability to always steal the attention of not only the audience but also the characters around him with his wild behavior, his talk that never seems to be filtered , and his optimism that is always high if all. is alright. With Mank, Gary Oldman shows that he is still one of the actors with extraordinary talent and may well be one of the best actors of the year, with his passionate energy.
I also appreciate how David Fincher was able to make Mank technically and visually like a film produced in the 1940's. With Erik Messerschmidt behind the camera, Donald Graham Burt as set decorator and Ren Klyce in the position of sound mixer , Mank has truly brought the life of films from decades back to life. Look at how the camera moves, how it transitions from one scene to another, how the sound effect is used if something happens on the screen. This might be used as a double feature for Citizen Kane itself.
All of this, with all the presented complexity of the story as well as the technicalities, finally led to a question. Does what is in this film really happen to Herman J. Mankiewicz? He is a real person, but is his life as wild as it is depicted in this film? Even though this is a biographical film about someone who has been recorded in history, whether it is historically accurate or not does not really matter to me. With Mank , Jack and David Fincher have presented a truly ambitious and extraordinary story about a man who is obsessed with finishing something he has started.
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