Message Resonance in Film
All The President’s Men is a film that was released in 1976 with the Watergate scandal in people’s memory. Richard Nixon’s resignation due to his complicity in the hacking of the Democratic Party headquarters as well as inclusion of surveillance tapes in the White House with recordings of administration officials’ attempts in a cover-up of the whole fiasco had shaken the nation into a constitutional crisis. The thorough investigative journalism to uncover this debacle forms the basis of this plot. Escalation of World War II where Allies fought against the Axis forms the background for the 1942 release of the romantic drama Casablanca. In fact, an impending invasion of North Africa by the Allies facilitated its production hence a majority of the populace was fixated on the raging overseas battles. The climate of war loomed large across the globe and varying experiences of the lives of the soldiers emerged during this period.
Casablanca delves into the complexity of having relationships in a war zone. It singles out the romance between Rick and Llsa which is a roller coaster featuring moments of intimacy and heartbreaks in a manner that shows battles make such emotions fluid. The film however highlights the beauty of unconditional love that exists between them hence signaling the much acclaimed mantra that true love is an eternal thing. It therefore seeks to show the viewer that people can go to great lengths to appease their loved ones despite facing difficult challenges and changing loyalties. All the President’s Men tackles the hidden maneuvers used by administration officials during Watergate while also depicting the struggle but successful tactics employed by journalists in covering such stories. It thus provides a portrayal of the resilience inherent in investigative reporters in spite of numerous threats from their targets while offering insight into the kind of impunity applied by government operatives in avoiding exposure for covert activities. The film therefore seeks to validate the importance of the press in the society and peoples’ right to information irrespective of the government’s power. In fact, it shows that no one is above the law and the truth always comes out.
Both films are fixated on accurately representing the past because their plots are based on real experiences that occurred in their respective periods. Casablanca is modeled on the tricky situation that innocent civilians as well as soldiers found themselves in while on enemy territory and their desire to escape albeit with their loved ones. The romance between Rick and Llsa offers a reflection of the dilemma that such people faced while overseas because they developed relationships with people from other nationalities. Emotional imbalances, engagement in clandestine activities and becoming fugitives are themes depicted in this movie which mirror the lives of foreigners during World War II as well. Conflicts of interest that abound here are also reminiscent of the psychological torture suffered by a majority of them hence justifying most of the scenarios in it too. All the president’s Men is similar to the above because it trails Woodwards’ and Bernstein’s quest to unravel the Watergate scandal. It provides a chronology of events that corroborate the Ervin Commission’s report. In fact, its findings are visible from the actions of the characters in the movie and the portrayal of Frank Willis, the Watergate Complex security guard, as himself in this film lends credence to this notion. Culpability of the administration officials offers a fitting conclusion to the actual events that led to the impeachment of President Nixon and the consequences to his staff at the time too.
Watching both movies reveals that the portrayal of American history has not changed over time. In the films, it is evident that romantic feelings between people enables them to do favors for each other. For example, this applies in aiding the acquisition of incriminating evidence against government operatives in All the President’s Men as well as securing free and safe passage to the US from enemy territory in Casablanca. They also indicate the unwavering commitment by the American government in offering assistance to its citizens especially those in government against foreign aggression. In fact, they reaffirm the extensive networks used by the power of incumbency in attaining this goal. Notably, both movies also maintain the stereotypes against minorities such as African Americans that is pervasive in the American society for generations. The racist tendencies seen in the actions of characters belies the historical injustices committed to this demographic and visualized in cinema in a manner that still pricks the conscience of viewers just as it does in reality. It therefore symbolizes a continuation of this practice which is relatable although it is a blot in the country’s national fabric. For example, few scenes are given to black actors and are assigned junior roles in both movies as a sign of their inferiority. This insinuates that such groups are still marginalized in the society with whites being the dominant race and this provides a true reflection of the societal norm because the struggle for equality in most communities is still alive.
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