I feel a bit rusty writing publicly because I stopped a while ago. And then a review! Well, let’s get on with it.
I’ve seen this movie for the first time for Movie Club and I don’t know very much about the Watergate Scandal. (I’ve also seen The Post where it is referenced and have tried researching a bit, but then it’s a lot of US politics and I wasn’t particular interested in getting too deep into that so please bear that in mind when reading this review.) As always, this review may containt spoilers.
Frost/Nixon is a movie about a TV show host, David Frost, who seems clueless and only interested in money and/or fame at the beginning of the movie. Somehow he gets the idea of interviewing Nixon who just stepped down as President of the United States, supposedly to become more famous and earn more money in the process.
Things don’t go as planned – TV networks don’t want to pay for the interviews so Frost has to pay for them by himself – but finally the interviews can happen. Actually, maybe Frost does not only want fame/money because he seemed pretty dedicated in doing these interviews, even when he had to pay for everything. Mh. Need to think about that some more.
Anyhow, the interviews don’t go as planned either. Nixon is a master player on the political and TV show host field and just talks all over Frost who seems to know it’s going badly, but doesn’t want to admit to it. It’s quite painful watching Frost. I pitied him a lot because he was just so pity-worthy. Helpless and blinded.
I was irritated about the whole „this is now a documentary“ vibe where some of the other characters commented, seemingly from a later perspective, on the events of the movie. Although I don’t know much about the Watergate events, it still felt unnecessary. And my two cents about the casting (partly because we already discussed it in our group): Kevin Bacon was there, and he wasn’t evil. And then there was a pretty woman who didn’t have any purpose at all. Maybe except being a woman in a movie with and about men. The movie wouldn’t have been any worse without her, and she didn’t do much for representation either, so I really don’t know why she was there.
I did like the movie. Maybe because somehow I wanted Frost to take Nixon down. So although Frost wasn’t a very likeable character, I was still kind of rooting for him to wing these interviews because I decidedly didn’t like Nixon for all his scheming and corruption. Which made the greater part of the movie hard to watch because Frost was failing so badly. Until the end where he wasn’t failing anymore.
Weirdly enough, that wasn’t satisfying either because, as I’ve said, Frost wasn’t very likeable and seeing him succeed didn’t make anything better. Although I pitied Nixon in the end. And if the movie achieved one thing, it was to show that people are just people who make mistakes. Some, obviously, make bigger mistakes than others. Some seem unforgivable. And in the end they’re still people. I don’t know if that was what the movie wanted to do, especially because characters in the movie were very strict on the point that Nixon didn’t deserve forgiveness.
I give the movie 3/5 stars. It was enjoyable and left me, again, curious about this Watergate scandal.
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(Photo credit above: Universal Pictures)