(Review originally written at 25 March 2007)

If you want to know all about the Watergate scandal but you're too lazy to read a book or watch a documentary, like 80% of the world's population, this movie is the ultimate resource to learn all about Watergate. The movie now has a perfect educational value now days, though at the time when it was made, the movie was made for different motivations, since it was all still quite fresh back then.

The movie is of course the ultimate example of the power of the press but the movie is also most definitely about the power of politics.

The story of the two reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein begins quite innocent but the further they dig into the story the deeper and higher they get, when they learn who are all involved in the cover-up, which of course eventually even leaded to the resignation of president Nixon. They are being triggered by the vague and contradicting comments people they call and meet make. They smell something big and they completely set their teeth in the investigation and their attempts to find sources and let people get on the record, with of course the mysterious Deep Throat as their most famous and highest ranking source, though this didn't get revealed until the time that deputy director of the FBI Mark Felt in 2005 revealed that he was the source they called Deep Throat, which before that remained one of the biggest journalistic- and modern history in general mystery.

The story even becomes detective-like, when they step-by-step investigate to get the next piece of the puzzle, so they can get further with their journalistic investigation to uncover who are all involved and how high it actually goes. So in essence the movie often repeats itself with its events but yet manages to remain absolutely compelling and even exciting, due to the way of lively directing and also thanks to the fine acting from the many great actors that are in the movie.

It's a political movie, meaning that it features lots of talking, names and difficult words. Yet the movie always remains perfectly good to follow, which is I think mainly due to the compelling storytelling of the movie. You can thank director Alan J. Pakula and writer William Goldman for that. And I'm not even a Alan J. Pakula but this movie is just one great and relevant classic.

But also the fine acting definitely helps and gets the movie some extra flair. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are absolutely great together as journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They are totally different characters with different backgrounds and ideals but yet they form a perfect investigating team. Jason Robards also plays a great role (Oscar win) and so does Jane Alexander (Oscar nomination), who's role isn't the biggest but still a very relevant one and Hal Holbrook is still the ultimate Deep Throat. I especially love how authentic the acting in the movie felt. The actors obviously messed up their lines at times, which forced them to correct themselves. I just love how they decided to keep it in the movie, to give it all a more authentic feeling.

The entire movie feels authentic, also since it tells the story purely from the point of view of the two reporters. It of course also totally fits within the realistic '70's style of film-making. The movie felt with many long sequence's and uses authentic lighting and make-up.

The movie easily could had been 3 hours long but instead the movie is a more acceptable 138 minutes long. The final sequence of the movie perfectly shows, in just one minute time, how all the domino's fell after the published story. A really great and creative sequence and ending in my opinion.

The ultimate educational movie about the Watergate scandal and an example and inspiration for great journalism.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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