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Critical of Meet John Doe - Movie Review Example

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Critical Review of Meet John Doe I.D. Name of the University Critical Review of Meet John Doe 1. This is a review paper about the film Meet John Doe, which I viewed on 16th November 2013. The overall theme of this film is about a media house, where a reporter Ann Mitchell (played by Barbara Stanwyck) creates a fake character called John Doe…
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Critical of Meet John Doe

Download file to see previous pages... After this fake letter was published in the newspaper where Mitchell worked, tremendous reaction on the part of general people followed. This public reaction was noted by the newspaper’s rich and powerful publisher D.B. Norton (played by Edward Arnold). Next, a sinister collaboration starts between Ann, Norton, and other staffs of the newspaper to exploit the sensation created by John Doe’s fake suicide letter. One John Willoughby (Gary Cooper) is duped into this conspiracy and he is asked to play the role of John Doe. At first, Willoughby does this job enthusiastically. But gradually the actual conspiracy is exposed before him. Willoughby has a flux of mind and he starts clinging to the character and mission of fictional John Doe. In doing so, he shakes the very fundamentals of the news media house he was working for and throws a serious challenge before Norton. Ultimately, Willoughby becomes a real John Doe, who successfully convinces people about general good of society and unmasks hypocrites like Norton and his collaborators. Ann also changes side and joins Willoughby in this great mission of John Doe. All during watching this film, I felt that there are several political linkages in this film. However, two most important linkages are being mentioned in this paper. The first one is created with the help of impressions, scenes, and symbols regarding democratic values and community consciousness. The second linkage shows that how one’s personal life and feelings might be used by somebody else to obtain political benefit. 2. In the film Meet John Doe, Capra appears to be consistently pressing ahead with his idealism having ample regard toward the spirit of democracy. After the middle part of the film, contradictions between ideals of democracy and manipulation of the system become the main foci of the film. The scene of the great John Doe Convention speaks about it. The convention is held before a large audience and thousands of people are called on to participate in it. Willoughby, in the meanwhile, finds that Norton wants to exploit the sensation created by the story of John Doe. Norton wanted Willoughby to endorse Norton as a presidential candidate for the federal elections in the garb of John Doe Convention emerging as a political party. This being the backdrop, Willoughby now tries to breakaway from Norton’s control. At this point, Capra creates a marvelous scene at the John Doe Convention. In this scene, with the help of a combination of distant and close shots, Capra shows how desperately Willoughby is going ahead into the crowd and trying to tell the truth about John Doe and Norton. With the help of special effects using montage of crowds repeatedly, Capra creates the impression of Willoughby, a desperate man, trying to communicate with thousands of people individually, intimately, and simultaneously. This scene showing the seemingly impossible task of Willoughby actually exhibits that how confusing institutional democracy might become. Emotional and spirited public might fail to identify the real evil behind ambitious politicians. Political propaganda can become powerful enough to overshadow the actual goals of the democratic institution. Consequently, public might go ahead and invite an “iron hand” (Capra 1941) to rule them as had happened in the countries like Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The second most intriguing scene in this film is seen ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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