MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House could also be called Mark Felt: The Most Famous Anonymous Whistle Blower in American History. The fact that it took him thirty years to confess to being “Deep Throat” which was the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information in 1972 to Bob Woodward a reporter for the Washington Post. Deep Throat provided key details about the involvement of then U.S. President Richard Nixon’s administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal which ultimately caused president Nixon to step down from office.
This new film is all about that and what caused Mark Felt (Liam Neeson) to decide to break all the rules and commit treason in order to get the truth out to the press. It’s from the Writer/Director Peter Landesman who brought us the film Parkland, about the immediate aftermath in Dallas from the JFK assassination and Concussion, the Will Smith film about the whistle-blower who discovered the neurodegenerative disease caused by playing football. So Mark Felt is a perfect progression for him considering it combines infamous political history and whistle blowing. He does a good job showing the human pressures behind the known political scenes.
This film shows Marks’ home life with his brilliant but troubled wife Audrey (Diane Lane) and their missing only daughter Joan (Maika Monroe) who may or may not have joined a commune. You get to see how Mark the loyal FBI man, who was second to J. Edgar Hoover until his death, is passed up for his obvious promotion as director of the FBI and must answer to Pat Gray (Marton Csokas), an outsider in the pocket of the president. It’s fun to watch Mark outsmart everyone as he does what he thinks is best for the protection of his beloved FBI agency.
The main issue I have with this film is that they don’t really educate you to whom the main players are in the story. The actors also don’t really look like the people they’re supposed to be playing. Unless you were around during Watergate or are really into U.S. political history you wouldn’t readily know who’s who. I appreciate the writer/director assuming that the audience is intelligent because some are. However, I think he leaves out the younger audience that got a bit lost at the screening I was at. Mark Felt gives you the gray looking skies against the washed out bleakness of DC together with an ever driving, piano underscore as the events play out that you could want. You even get good solid performances from everyone in the cast. What this movie doesn't give you is a compelling reason to see it. Mark Felt: the Man Who Brought Down the White House is not a bad film; it’s just not a great one. You’d do better to watch your DVD version of 1976’s All The President's Men if you’re in the mood for a great movie about Watergate.
Written By Peter Landesman, Mark Felt (based on his books)
Selig Rating C+
Running Time 113min
Biography / Historical Drama
Wide Release Oct. 13th
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Tony Goldwyn, John Lucas, Maika Monroe, Michael C. Hall, Tom Sizemore, Bruce Greenwood
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.