Carrie Mathison + self-reflection “I can’t shake that moment she had with herself in the mirror, knowing the path this would lead down and committing to it without letting herself have an opinion.” —Ben Travers
Kill The Messenger bears Nick Schou’s book title, from which it draws inspiration, but is also based on Gary Webb’s book Dark Alliance. The film was directed by Homeland & Elementary executive producer Michael Cuesta and stars Jeremy Renner, Rosemariie dewitt, Robert Patrick & Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Premise:Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb, Kill The Messenger follows Webb, a reporter, becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California.
Review: If you haven’t read up on the story or don’t know the name Gary Webb, the title of the movie, the premise, and Jeremy Renner’s name might lead you to think that you’re in for a Jason Borne style action thriller but it’s not. Kill the Messenger is a biopic but one that centers on a particular point of Gary Webb’s (Renner) life and like most biopics it has its moments.
The backdrop of the story is smoothly set up through clips and newspaper articles that gives you a broad context of the story you’re walking into. The contextual elements are there but the movie focuses on the man, Gary Webb. You get to know him through his work and family before you dive into the story that will forever change his life. It’s a slow built up, the tension rises with every piece of information he uncovers but at the same time you can feel this dark cloud looming on the edges and instinctively know that it’s all going to crumble.
Yes, there’s tension and an undeniable gut feeling that it won’t be all sunshine and unicorns at the end but the way done makes it bearable. The movie could have more exciting sensationalizing everything but Kill the Messenger is character driven, it’s Gary Webb’s point of view, and Gary is a reporter so the film just lays down the facts as a reporter would. Therefore when everything crumbles the only perspective you get is Gary’s. You can see repercussions his investigative journalism had on his life, with constant contextual hints showing how his article affected everybody else, how it blew up.
Renner’s character and his story takes center stage in the simplest matter of fact way possible and the cast does a great job of infusing life to it. Jeremy Renner is spot on as the investigative journalist that get consumed by his article. The rest of the cast is just as believable in showing how hard it was in the mid-90s to put to light a controversial issues.
Kill the Messenger really is a tribute film to Gary Webb, it tells his side of the story and walks you through what he went through and by the end you’re left to decide what you want to believe, leaving you to dig for information yourself.
Whatever you take on this story is, let me know what did you think of Kill the Messenger?
I’ve been binge watching Homeland (which just so you know, is pretty much a recipe for serious mental breakdowns and depression and this show really shouldn’t be binge watched), and tonight I finished the season 3 finale and I don’t think I have ever cried so much from a TV show or movie ever in my life. At one point I literally had to get up and get the box of tissues out of my bathroom to put next to me before I could keep watching. So after I finished watching, my brain was just a mess and totally devastated still so I thought it would be a good idea to watch something light like a reality show, so I watched the most recent episode of Married at First Sight: The First Year, and let me tell you this, that shit was not light. I was pretty much bawling my eyes out while Jamie and her mom reconciled, and then her and Doug why are they so fucking adorable and in love like fuck stop pulling on my heart strings with your adorable small town suburban love story. Fucking Jamie and Doug. And fucking Claire Danes. I kind of feel like Cameron Diaz’s character from The Holiday right now, like when the character said that she cried so much the day that her parents got divorced that she never cried again. Like that is me right now. I’m pretty sure that I just cried so much that I will never cry again.
"Attraction plus an obstacle equals drama," Gansa says with a laugh. "There’s definitely an attraction, there are a huge number of obstacles and hopefully that creates some drama between those two people."