This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
KaneEddy’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Mank, Film Review
Very Slight Spoilers, (I Vaguely mention some things but don't go into any details)
Mank is one of my most anticipated films of the year, I recently watched Citizen Kane and Fincher's best films because my hype for this film was growing and growing. But did it live up to my expectations... Not Quite, but it is still a fantastic film that will stand as one of the best this year. I'll start with the performances which are fantastic, I expect a lot of Oscar love for both Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried who both give impactful performances, the rest of the ensemble is great too like Charles Dance, Tom Burke and Lily Collins all giving us moments of top tier acting.
The next thing I loved was David Fancher's directing which was as good as can be, the film techniques are masterclass, emulating scenes and the style of Citizen Kane was as perfect as can be, from the masterclass cinematography and the 40s Audio, really immerses you in that time period. The subject matter and the story is fascinating and the way Flincher pulls you in to the characters by showing sides that we wouldn't normally see was a great choice and it really makes it feel more than just a regular biopic. The third act was the best third act this year in how perfectly it is executed and how well the story comes together, it really is something to see
Next is Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who compose another fantastic score that perfectly fits for this film. It isn't as good as some of their best work like the Social Network but it is still excellent, and captures the themes this film is going for extremely well.
Now I'll start with the negative aspects to the film, I have heard that this is Fincher's least accessible film and I can agree to that testament, if you haven't seen Citizen Kane I don't think you will enjoy this very much if at all. The film references it a lot and rightfully so as this is about the writing process of that film. But just be aware that this doesn't hold your hand, if you don't know anything about Citizen Kane the film isn't going to keep you in the loop.
The style of film that it is as well I don't think a lot of casual audiences are going to enjoy this at all, only fans of Citizen Kane and Cinephiles will really connect with this to the point where they love it, but due to the films slowness it will turn a lot of people off. I felt that slowness a few time during the film and there were some plot point that I just wasn't clicking with, but the beauty of the third act was that it does a masterful job of redeeming these aspects by tying it up all together, however that journey especially in the second act felt quite difficult to get through.
Overall, Mank is one of the best films this year and is definitely the best directed, I see a lot of Oscars in its future and it will be well deserved. This is no ordinary biopic, it is supremely well acted and brings such an interesting tale to life in some bold and risky ways that don't initially pay off but do eventually. I strongly recommend this to cinephiles and fans of Citizen Kane but it is really hard to recommend this to everyone because it is quite inaccessible.