The Report Review
“Ever wonder why history repeats itself?”- Senator Feinstein
I would love- LOVE- a happy, flippy movie called The Report. I really would. It would make me super happy. However, The Report is a heavy movie that deals with a heavy period of America’s heavy and dark history. Scott Z. Burn’s movie details lead Senate Investigator Daniel Jones’ (Adam Driver) deep investigation into the torture illegally used by Bush’s White House in the wake of 9-11. Jones is tasked by Senator Diane Feinstein (Annette Bening) to get to the bottom of the C.I.A.’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques or EIT which violate the Geneva Convention. Jones writes a 6700 page report of all the abuses* that becomes the plot of the movie. Will it be released? This post contains affiliate links.
This story isn’t new to anyone that had been paying attention at that time. Viewers probably remember the images coming out of Abu Ghraib. And if you don’t, they are faithfully reconstructed during the movie. The torture isn’t just talked about. It’s graphically shown. But new facts will come to light while watching the report that one may have forgotten or not known. The second half of the movie almost comes as a relief.
The movie isn’t big on subtlety. Except for possibly Senator Feinstein and her chief of staff, the characters are all either good or bad. The central message of the movie is important, but the storytelling hits the viewer over the head. It almost feels like we are being told about, rather than shown, this troubling aspect of our nation’s history. But it is important to remember what happened so we don’t make the same mistakes.
Driver and Bening will probably get some accolades during awards season. As they should. Their rock steady performances hold The Report together.
*It’s funny to think that Senators would read a 6700 page report when they can’t be bothered to read 2 page memos, a few simple tweets or watch televised hearings nowadays.