Saturday, May 26, 2012

All the President's Men

When rookie Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward seeks a courthouse statement from the men who burgled the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate hotel, he thinks he is on to an odd, if unspectacular story. As the various hidden strands begin to reveal themselves, he teams up with jaded reporter Carl Bernstein and begins the tedious and occasionally deadly task of uncovering the greatest political scandal in United States history. Alan J. Pakula's "All the President's Men" is a serpentine, labyrinthine, fascinating, and perhaps possibly a tad too inclusive and precise historical recreation. With Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the leads, both excellent as the dogged reporters, we are given an exacting account of the famous Woodward and Bernstein investigation, as well as a detailed look into a 1970s newsroom. With a barrage of names and a seemingly endless amount of paths to follow, the film can be mind numbing at times, but overall succeeds in making the film all the more gripping. The supporting cast is wonderful, most notably Jack Warden and Martin Balsam as Post editors, Jason Robards as its editor, and Hal Holbrook as the mysterious informant Deep Throat (the parking garage scenes are incredibly intense). "All the President's Men" is a painstaking, involving, and ultimately entertaining demonstration in newspaper/investigative filmmaking.