Our society is rampant with deception from advertising to corporations and individuals evading taxes, politicians breaking campaign promises, and countless other minor and major violations of the truth. Many people tend to see deception as either dubious and therefore an unfit topic for conversation, or completely obvious as 'the lubricant' that keeps society going and therefore unworthy of discussion. Now, why am i talking about deception?, because the film Shattered Glass presents the ethical issues of fabrication and the deception of the writer, Stephen Glass, to his editor and co-workers. He deliberately sensationalized his stories in order to gain his reader’s attention.
PlotThe year is 1998, and Glass, at 25, is the youngest investigative writer-editor at The New Republic. Padding through the corridors of the prestigious Washington weekly , Glass is a rising star, but he takes care to present himself as the responsible person , flashing a nervous quick smile as he flatters coworkers , mixing charm and self-deprecation with an ingenuousness that makes you want to pet him. When he thinks he's made the tiniest mistake, he asks, imploringly, ''Are you mad at me?''
Glass thought that he could make a bigger splash with less effort if he faked facts and sources. Soon, he was making up entire stories, and there was a big enough hole in the New Republic's fact-checking process that he was able to get away with it. 27 of the 41 stories he wrote for the magazine were partially or entirely false.
AnalysisMr. Christensen, best known for his light-saber work as the young Anakin Skywalker in the latest ''Star Wars'' episodes, finds the perfect balance between creepiness and charm. He presents the character as a wide-eyed and seemingly naive kid, with a lot of childish mannerisms, with a need to be liked. The performances of Hank Azaria, Peter Sarsgaard, Steve Zahn, Chloe Sevigny, and Rosario Dawson a do more than complement Mr. Christensen’s central characterization; they provide a sane backdrop for Stephen’s deceptions to steadily unravel against.
Shattered Glass, is the feature debut of Hollywood screenwriter Billy Ray. Ray said that, It's very dangerous when people can no longer believe what they read. At that point, he notes, people tend to get all their news from television or stop seeking it entirely -- two bad solutions. A fine script and taut direction moves this movie like a thriller, as Glass tries desperately to cover his tracks and compounds his lies with more and more lies.
One question remains open to interpretation at the end : Why did Glass do what he did? Was he just lazy? Was he a pathological liar? Was he fascinated by the idea of fooling people into believing the stories he fabricated? The truth is probably a mixture of these possibilities.
Integration is one of the important things in journalism, and , when it is called to question, we begin to doubt everything we read in newspapers and magazines and see on television.The movie almost boggles the mind exactly how in depth the journalistic verification process goes in an effort to bring the public true information; the amount of editors it takes, how many revisions the writer makes and the number of times each article is read and reread before print.
Shattered Glass is a cautionary tale about the weakness of a profession that is supposed to protect our freedoms by always revealing the truth -- no matter the cost.
Shattered Glass - Imdb