Film No. 75 (2014) October 18th. 11.00 AM LUNA Leederville.
Kill the Messenger
While I enjoyed Kill the Messenger, I wonder if the story could have been better told as a mini series. Gary Webb's character was so multi dimensional that I would have preferred to have gotten to know him over a longer period of time. Given that, there were three definitive aspects to Webb's investigation of drug importation into the US, there was a connection between that importation and the Nicaraguan war of the time and the CIA was closely involved in all of this, I'd like to have known more.
The down side to a mini series production may have been Jeremy Renner declining the key role of Webb. Renner's work in the film is legitimate and gives the character a rugged naivety which is key to director Michael Cuesta's intention. Here is a family man so embroiled in his job that he has no care about the CIA buttons he is prepared to push, we sit knowing there will be repercussions.
Webb wrote a series of articles titled Dark Alliance for his newspaper The San Jose Mercury News. His articles exposed the CIA as being complicit in their knowledge of crack cocaine being transported into California in the 1980's and sold in vast quantities. Web was named journalist of the year (Pulitzer Prize) in 1996 for his articles. The CIA eventually owned up to some of Webbs factual analysis but not before they had discredited him using the forces likely to inflict most harm; his own and other newspapers.
Because this relatively complex tale is told in 112 minutes, Cuesta glosses over elements such as Webb's obvious commitment to his family, the thoroughness of his work in Nicaragua and the relationships he must have melded with key informers. There is even the cliqued CIA "baddies" looking dark eyed and stoney faced when staring him down. Never the less Kill The Messenger tells an important story which may have you theorizing especially after reading the mandatory summary paragraphs when the screen goes black. 8GUMS