Kill the Messenger

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia Direction: Michael Cuesta Genre: Drama Duration: 1 hour 52 minutes

STORY: The film tells the story of American investigative journalist Gary Webb, whose controversial story ‘Dark Alliance’ caught the nation’s attention and shook the CIA. It also discloses the consequences Webb had to bear for his pursuit of truth.

REVIEW: In 1996, Webb (Jeremy Renner) alleged that the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) supported Nicaraguan rebels to smuggle cocaine into the United States in exchange for raising funds to covertly support the contras. His shocking revelation about CIA’s connection with cocaine dealers obviously didn’t go down too well with the agency and its closet publicists – the mainstream press.

Inevitably, Webb’s ballsy act invited counter-attack. Soon, the credibility of his lowlife sources and his integrity as a journalist were questioned. His own newspaper buckled under pressure, thus doubting his ethics, which eventually drove him over the edge. Adapted from Webb’s own ‘Dark Alliance’ and Nick Schou’s ‘Kill the Messenger’, Michael Cuesta not only recounts the life of Gary Webb but also sheds light on media manipulation, newspaper politics and the sacrifices a journalist is forced to make, for uncovering a conspiracy.

“The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been because I was careful and diligent and good at my job…the truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress,” Webb confesses in a speech. A terrific Jeremy Renner manages to portray the emotional upheaval, passion and edginess of the late Gary Webb brilliantly. His rendition of the reporter’s candid speech is heart-breaking.

‘The Hurt Locker’ star delivers an Oscar-worthy performance and proves why he deserves more superior roles than the Hawkeye (The Avengers). Michael Sheen, Ray Liotta and Andy Garcia are effective in their respective cameos. Be it the secret chase sequence shot in dim light at a parking lot or the scenes where the camera follows Renner as if it were a man, the chilling cinematography adds to the mystery and intrigue. Grim, taut and smartly paced, Kill The Messenger is undoubtedly one of the best crime-dramas of the year. Watch it.

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NEW JERSEY (TIP): Prachi Makkar, who the entire Indian American community in the Tri-States area knows as a versatile young woman and a superb...
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