Tale of crime and corruption comes to life

Kathleen Ambre

“Frost/Nixon,” directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard, commemorates a forgotten scandal and in turn sheds light on the true character of 37th President Richard Nixon as well as journalist David Frost.

Following the scandalous Watergate affair of the late 1970s, lightweight British journalist David Frost (Micheal Sheen) wishes to break away from a flippant talk show host career in Australia and Britain in search of American televised venues. In attempt to renovate his dimpled television personality into one of more assertive weight, Frost comes up with the idea of interviewing the notorious Richard Nixon.

In attempt to secure the three two-hour interviews over a 12 day period, Frost called up several networks and attended even more personal meetings to make it happen. Minimal support of television networks led Frost to shell out millions of dollars from his own pockets. After the appearance fee bumped up to $600,000 Nixon began to seriously consider accepting the offer. Interested in patching up a tarnished political legacy and further encouraged by chief of staff Jack Brennan (Kevin Bacon), Nixon finally consented.

In order to get the dirt on Nixon and redeem a faltering reputation, Frost hired two investigative reporters known for their previous exposes on Nixon: Bob Zelnick and James Reston.

Late caffeinated nights and the continuous sifting through paper and documents preceded the three interviews. However, two out of the three proved to be unsuccessful for Frost’s team. Nixon responded with long enduring recollections of childhood and family, unrelated anecdotes and personal narratives that seemed to mend a tattered conspiracy.

However, disappointment and a late night phone call from the President himself motivated Frost to win control over the interview with precise and rather relentless questions. Armed with words, what was expected to be a trivial dialogue directed by an inexperienced journalist became a compelling interrogation and startling confession.

Frost/Nixon ultimately succeeds not only by connecting its audience with political history, but also by displaying the hidden aspects of the two main characters that couldn’t be described by newspaper headlines alone.

Although the plot line starts off slow and the run time exceeds two hours, the dramatic ending is worth waiting for.