Sunday, November 15, 2009

Network (1976)

This movie was engrossing from the start. An old news reporter plans to commit a suicide on national tv in front of millions of viewers, because he was fired and had nothing going for himself other than the job! I was hoping it was not another hero hiralal! :) Far from it actually - it was more like a Madhur Bhandarkar film in many ways* - it had a STRONG female lead and mocked the commercialization of news.

Faye Dunaway won the best actress academy award for this one, and I think she completely deserved it. Peter Finch won the Best Actor award, and was the first one to receive a posthumous award for an acting category, and he so deserved it too. I think any film in which the lead actors bag an academy award is completely worth a watch! (ok, the only other example I can think of is As good as it gets).

No spoilers for this movie, because I liked it as a whole :)

* Qsn to all those Madhur Bhandarkar haters - how come you liked Network huh?


Jatin Bharadia said...

Madhur Bhandarkar eh? Ouch.

To answer that question honestly, I would have to watch Network and Madhur Bhandarkar movies (gasp.. ) so I will refrain from that.

I don't know when did MB mock the commercialization of news. To me he exploits the very commercial nature of the news.

But from what I know, the main difference between MB's films and this one (Apologies to SL and his fans for even attempting.)

- Character depth*.
- Deliberately/Subtly falling short of being a satire.
- Lack of any drastic steps taken by characters to question the status quo.
- Related to previous point. Lack of portrayal of characters a victims to exploit the sympathies(empathies) of target audience. Bollywoodization?
- My personal bias and hypocrisy :).

* Every decently interesting character in MB's movie has been portrayed by a strong actress(Tabu and Konkana for example). So if you want to give him points for character development, we have to cut points for casting for most of his other movies. Or just plain lack of options.

Prajakta Kalekar said...

omg i missed this comment earlier! what i meant was that MB has exploited the commercialization of several themes, not news in particular.
cannot refute any of the points you mentioned except that - MB does churn out hits doesnt he? i dont think the hollywood formula wud work in india, but commercialization as a theme does work, and MB does it well..