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Mad City December 2, 2006

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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A satire on the news media is something I’ve been waiting to watch….and Mad City delivers it pretty well. Dustin Hoffman plays a star reporter for a news channel – his portrayal is similar to that of Shahrukh Khan’s in Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. One day he is asked to cover a story about a museum in financial crisis. While he is in the museum an embittered former employee (John Travolta) barges in with a gun to threaten the curator demanding his job back. Accidentally he happens to shoot a security guard plus there are children touring the museum. Hoffman decides to make a “hostage situation” out of this so that his television ratings soar. He is able to manipulate John Travolta and convinces him to cooperate to better his current situation. The madness which ensues forms the rest of the story.

What really works for this movie is its theme. Though the whole thing about news channels going to any lengths to sensationalize news is overtly exaggerated it still is able to drive home the point.

One thing which I did not like about this movie is John Travolta’s performance. He hams throughout and simply doesn’t fit the role. Hoffman on the other hand carries the whole show on his shoulders. This film came about 10 years back but is something one would enjoy watching today because of its relevance. I wish someone would make a movie satirizing not only the media but also the viewers who partonize it.

On the whole this flick is an interesting take on an important issue but goes unabashedly over the top doing so. Still, worth a watch.

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