Shattered Glass

shattered glassA young journalist is always learning. There are always experienced journalists, teachers and editors teaching you different rules. The first and most important thing you learn is to tell the truth. Never make up sources or say that you were somewhere that you were not. What a journalist writes is taken as fact.

"Shattered Glass," the new film written and directed by Billy Ray is based on the true story of Stephen Glass. Hayden Christensen of "Star Wars" and "Life As A House" fame stars as the young reporter who does not follow these rules. By his mid-twenties, Glass was a well-known writer at the famous New Republic Magazine. Glass was everyone's favorite guy; he was funny and smart and always got great stories. Then the trouble comes. A writer at an online magazine uncovers Glass's deceptions. When confronted about his lies, he finds himself with so many excuses that he cannot keep his story straight.

The movie is wonderful and the cast, also including Chloe Sevigny, Steve Zahn and Peter Sarsgaard, are magnificent. My only complaint is with Christensen. Now do not get me wrong, I love this guy. I think that he is brilliantly talented, but his whiny youth act is getting over played. Every time he started to complain to his editor about what was happening, I started having flashbacks to "Star Wars," when he is begging for Queen Amidala's love. He needs to do something different (like a comedy role) and get away from always playing the torn youth. I like Christensen and I hope that he is not typecast, because the young Jedi images are getting annoying.

Regardless of my flashbacks, I found the film extremely powerful. Some may believe that Glass, at such a young age, was unable to keep up with the fast paced environment of the journalism world, and others may think that he simply found the lies more interesting. In the movie, he is portrayed to not have much confidence, so maybe he did not think he was good enough and had to make up stories to measure up.

No matter why you think he did it, there is no denying that he played the media and the readers for all he could, and to be honest that makes for a really interesting story. The film starts with a likable and seemingly talented young man, and ends with a pitiful cheater. The viewer cannot help but feel bad for the guy, no matter what bad things he did, and in the end he came out looking sad and pathetic, not evil. The whole aspect of cheating and getting caught is intriguing.

Watching Glass completely ruin everything he had gotten by making up stories makes you think about every time you have cheated. Let's be honest, we have all cheated on a test or two… or ten. But could you completely make up a story that is read by thousands of people? I could not, but I definitely enjoyed watching him do it. This movie is a must see for any aspiring journalist and anyone who has ever cheated on a test.

Darla Walters Gary is a WireTap staff writer. She lives in Oakland, California and is a senior at Far West High School.
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