Clint Eastwood comes back with a retelling of a security guard's heroic actions being depicted as a "fake hero syndrome" by the people who swore to be the voice of its citizens: the press. This story is about Richard Jewell.
His story, or downfall, started at the 1996 Summer Olympics. A simple security guard, Jewell found a bag filled with bomb, to which he warned everyone. He emerged as a hero due to his actions saving many lives, that is until the media came in. In the review by the Hollywood reporter, they've described Jewell's character, played by as
as a mama’s boy loser and outcast to arouse slight suspicions that he could be a time bomb waiting to go off. A devoted student of the law — “I study the penal code every night,” he boasts — Jewell is also a video arcade regular who occasionally gets himself in trouble or loses security jobs out of over-zealousness, like busting frat boys in their rooms; “I don’t want any Mickey Mousing on this campus,” he proclaims, in a misguided burst of self-important authority. A once-upon-a-time cop, he boasts of a huge gun collection and spends a lot of time at the shooting range. He lives with his mom, Bobi (a wonderful Kathy Bates), who loves him and can lift his spirits by saying things like, “You’re still a good guy warding off the bad guys, aren’t ya?”
The event starts on the evening of July 27. While people enjoyed a musical performance at the Centennial Olympic Park, one man gives a warning call about an imminent bombing. To which Jewell begins to clear the are when he found a suspicious backpack. Minutes later, the bomb went off and killed one person, leaving 111 injured.
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The aftermath of his actions, from being celebrated as a hero, goes down as his character was skewered to fit the media's narrative as Jewell being the suspect to the bombing. They've ripped his reputation not only as a hero but also as a man by pinning all of the blame on him. From his gun collection and somewhat discreet personality being used to make him the villain of this story. The movie shows how much power the media holds and at times, how irresponsible they can be.
The media isn't the only ones to blame as the FBI themselves invaded the man's apartment. For three months, Jewell and his family had to endure the harassment, being plagued by reporters at his doorsteps, his mother Bobi defending him from the press. Though he has a good attorney, in such cases, having a good one isn't enough. He needed a great one.
Finally, the FBI comes to the right conclusion that Jewell isn't physically fit to pull off what they are accusing him of. This isn't how the media mishandles a situation, this is media being irresponsible with their actions, almost costing a man his life. Till his death in 2007, Jewell had to live with the half-half narrative where one is he is a hero and the other paints him as a culprit.
The review The Hollywood Reporter said
Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm come on very strong in competitive try-and-stop-me roles, Rockwell provides all manner of disgruntled but finally energized determination to fight and win, and Bates dabs her maternal role with lovely shadings that go well beyond what’s in the script. But it’s Paul Walter Hauser who carries the film in a rare and unlikely role, that of a presumed loser in life (the man did die just a few years later, at 44) who suffered very unwanted attention — but who, when he needed to, found a way to rise to the occasion.
In our current state where Fake News is everywhere and the media are like vultures with their talons ready to strike anyone for the sake of a good story, here is a must watch movie for you.