Making A Biopic

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Biopics are very hard to make in my opinion and very hard to pull off. There have been many biopics over the years but some are clearly better than others. Making a biopic can be very difficult because if the people involved are still alive or the story is very recent it can cause controversy and many other issues. For example The Fifth Estate stars Benedict Cumberbatch plays founder of Wiki Leaks Julian Assange. Assange asked Cumberbatch not to star in it and I understand why. Firstly the film may be critical of him and he doesn’t want Wiki Leaks slated by a film, also it is intimidating to have a film made about you. I have not actually seen The Fifth Estate yet so therefore I don’t know how critical it is of him.

Other than that Biopics can focus on an entire persons life which can work but I feel they seem rushed. I prefer biopics that focus on a specific time in the persons life to be better. For example The Fifth Estate focuses on the founding of Wiki Leaks whereas the film J. Edgar shows a lot of the life from J Edgar Hoover’s childhood up to his death, A problem I had with the film is that a lot of it seemed relevant. A story focusing on him starting the FBI would be a lot more interesting than his whole life. I felt a lot of scenes in the film added nothing to the film and they were only put in because the film makers wanted to create tension and hurdles for the character to overcome. Another film I didn’t like was The Iron Lady because it was not focused on one thing. The trailer was really deceiving and rather than being about Margret Thatcher’s years as prime minister it included scenes of her meeting her husband and her suffering from Dementia. The film was not a biopic at all it was more like a dementia information film.

The George W. Bush Biopic W. directed by Oliver Stone did go over several time periods in his life. It introduces President Bush as he is at University and goes up to his presidency and does focus around the invasion of Iraq after the events of 9/11. Despite this wasn’t as focused as I would have liked I found the film’s structure and flow to be really good and it was a well rounded film despite being about such an unpopular president.  Josh Brolin played Bush really well and I was even sympathetic towards him.

Biopics however are not historically accurate at all.  Writers need to add in drama and suspense in order to make them more interesting to the mass audience. Not to be harsh on anyone but the interesting things that happened in these peoples lives may not have actually been that intense or interesting at the moments of them happening. In order to create emotion and tension in the film the reality of the situation must be ignored in order to make the film more appealing. Lots of films that get Academy Award recognition are biopics. This year’s nominations have not been released yet but my predictions and many other peoples predictions include The Butler, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Foxcatcher, Rush and The Fifth Estate. These films are all based on true events and real people but will be glamorized in order to make them more appealing.

Do you enjoy watching Biopics? What is your favorite Biographical film? Please comment and thanks for reading.



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