Released on the streaming platform Netflix on Nov. 13, 2020, “Mank” is a film set in 1930/40s Hollywood, with the plot surrounding screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, and more specifically, why he wrote “Citizen Kane,” and why essentially no one else would have been capable of doing so at the time. The film is directed by David Fincher as his late father, Jack Fincher, had written the screenplay in the 1990s. Mankiewicz started out as a reporter, but then segwayed into writing. His first big step was getting a job at Paramount, where he could be found turning out scripts or holding up title cards for the silent productions.
“I could even say that these topics played more of a role in the film than the character of Mankiewicz himself did.”
While the plot may surround Mankiewicz’s career and personal life, there are many other interesting elements included. Some examples consist of the 1934 United States general election, fake news at that time and economic extermination. I could even say that these topics played more of a role in the film than the character of Mankiewicz himself did. Oftentimes during the film I even viewed Mankiewicz as an ensemble character more than the protagonist, as that is just how much screen time and focus he received.
Another addition to the film that I was not expecting were all of the flashbacks. They occurred quite often and the majority of flashbacks went straight back to the 1930s, the film taking place in the 1940s. However, the flashbacks I enjoyed much more than I did the lack of screentime for Makiewicz.
Overall, the cinematography is what really tied the knot on the film for me, being as gorgeous and well thought out as it was. The lighting, the makeup, all of the little details encouraged me to enjoy watching “Mank” much more than I thought I would when I first pressed play on Netflix.
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