The truth has enormous power. Whenever we hear it, although we may not fully comprehend it, truth always seems to resonate with us. I believe that is why since its release in 1976, Network has resonated with audiences of all decades. It speaks of the unadulterated truth.
Howard Beale is a madman who has a breakdown following his firing on television which garners high ratings because of which Diana, a ratings-hungry employee puts forth the idea of the Howard Beale show, where he would rant about our cynical times. As obvious, the money-oriented management of CCA laps it up.
Network is one of the most important movies, in terms of real and reel life. Its screenplay has inspired countless others throughout the ages, most notably, that of Aaron Sorkin’s. The influence Network’s structure and dialogues have had on Sorkin’s dialogue writing and most importantly, on his great sitcoms West Wing and The Newsroom (and the criminally underrated Sports Night) can be comprehended by any nitwit. Network was one of those few movies which did not succumb to the pressure of dumbing down its content so as to suit the general audiences. Movies which want to please everyone end up being for no one. Network has intelligent, fiery dialogues flowing at a torrent pace in the pure beauty of English language, which unleashes a power so paramount on the minds of audiences that it transforms into a great cinematic experience on the strength of only its dialogues.
Its importance extends to today’s culture, considering the irresponsible media which have failed to report on platonic shifts in global politics over and over again. Its satirical portrayal seems to be a near-perfect reflection of today’s media which places its resources to fish out ratings-drawing new bits rather than the ones which amount to something. Howard Beale is Chayefsky’s Don Quixote, a madman who thinks he can save the world from an epidemic of incivility by acting as a knight himself.
Network is not much about the corrupt and unethical ways of news-broadcasting agencies, it is about a midst of individuals trying to retain their sanity in the midst of a world full of insanity and becoming mad themselves, one by one. It wasn’t meant as a classic when it was made, it was meant to be a wake-up call to all of us. In the midst of this world where any hogwash can be passed on as a movie, Network is the kind of cinema which leads with the clarion call resounding in the heart of all cinephiles ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’
RATING :- 9.3 / 10
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