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Netflix’s ‘Mank’ is a tale of old Hollywood – and of our corrupted modern age

14 8 17

On its surface, Mank, the new film by esteemed director David Fincher, chronicles the life and times of famed screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, most notably his struggle to write the Oscar winning screenplay for Citizen Kane.

Just below that gloriously photographed black and white surface though, a complex story of class struggle, financial control and political corruption lives, and it is that narrative that makes Mank a story for our time.

Herman Mankiewicz a.k.a Mank, brilliantly portrayed by Oscar winner Gary Oldman, is a disheveled drunkard and degenerate gambler with an undeniable roguish charm. A brilliant wordsmith, Mank’s quick and erudite wit gets him in the good graces of the media mogul William Randolph Hearst, and by extension, the Hollywood heavyweights at MGM, Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg.

It is from this privileged perch at the luxurious dining tables of W.R. Hearst and in the offices of L.B. Mayer and Thalberg, that Mank is shown the diabolically deceptive practices and devious machinations of those in power. Mank’s growing discomfort and disgust at the charade of these powerful but hollow men eventually manifests in some alcohol-fueled, but extremely insightful diatribes.

But Mank, ever the slave to his own destructive impulses, is impotent to do anything about these men…until the opportunity to write........

© RT.com

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