Mank ⭐️⭐️

Director: David Fincher Cast: Gary OldmanAmanda SeyfriedLily Collins, Tom Pelphrey, Arliss Howard.

I was desperately waiting for this one. I had even re-watched Citizen Kane, to remind myself of all the little details I might have missed, having last watched about 25 years ago. Also, David Fincher is up there among my favourite directors: in fact even when he fails, he does it with so much style and meticulousness that can only be admired. 

Watching Mank I kept of thinking: “this is a film that seems made for critics”. I could see and hear already flocks of them swooning over this and praising like nothing before. After all it’s a film that explores the origins of the beloved Orson Welles’ masterpiece, Citizen Kane, but also it looks stunning in its black & white exquisitely detailed depiction of the old Hollywood of the 30s, transmitting the magic of cinema though the impeccably crafted production design, make-up and costumes. It also happens to have a drunken Gary Oldman who inhabits his character Mank as a second nature. 

Having said all that, despite the cinephile in me (or rather the “movie-geek” in me), I have to confess that this is one if those films I was mentioning above: a film that can certainly admire, but actually I didn’t really enjoy. 

I found most of its dialogue impenetrable, something which I am sure was intentional, but resulted in me tuning off more often that I probably should have. I remained emotionally distant throughout, watching it from a far away, detached and rather uninvolved. I found the story of the actual writing process of “Citizen Kane” fascinating (and quite liked the ending too, though apparently debatable in terms of truth), but felt it was too diluted into  too many  flashback and even more subplots, most if which left me pretty cold as they seemed to lack warmth and colour (no pun intended: I actually really liked its black and white).

This is certainly a film not for everyone and clearly not for me: if you’re looking for another “Se7en” or “Fight Club” or even “The Social Network”, you might as well forget about “Mank”.

Between me and you… handsome as the film is, I was really bored. 

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