The Loudest Voice first impression: Russell Crowe is brilliant as the controversial Roger Ailes
“People don’t want to be informed, they want to feel informed.” “Journalism is history.” “We need to drive the news, not just cover it.” These are just a couple of controversial lines uttered by Russell Crowe’s Roger Ailes in Showtime’s series The Loudest Voice. The pilot episode called 1995, directed by Kari Skogland, puts things in motion incredibly well, considering that it is only the first episode. You get a fair portrayal of the man who would be gracing your screen for the next six episodes.
There is less beating about the bush and more action on the ground. The show attempts to throw light on the rise and fall of Roger Ailes, the man behind the incredible success of Fox News. True, Fox News might not be everyone’s first choice for unbiased news, but it does have a big and loyal fan base that is presented with exactly the kind of content they want.
Anyone responsible for the success of a big media house is usually a very busy, important person and makes headlines for one reason or the other. However, Ailes not only made considerable noise because he made Fox News such a hit, but the man also courted controversies due to the various sexual harassment allegations against him, which ultimately resulted in his downfall.
Russell Crowe’s physical transformation and his performance as Roger Ailes is one of the highlights of the episode. As Ailes, Crowe is intimidating, obnoxious and meek all at once. For instance, you cannot help but hate him when at one point he shouts at a senior reporter for suggesting that they should just present facts with honesty. He calls her names and thinks she is problematic. However, during one of his first interactions with the founder of the channel, Rupert Murdoch, Ailes makes everyone sit up and take notice of him when he offers an alternative to run the media house — by catering to the needs of the conservative American. In that sequence, Ailes’ capability to lead and his great instinct shines through.
It’s hard to love Ailes, and the show doesn’t glorify the man at all. Instead, it successfully takes you on an exciting ‘human’ journey of Ailes, who shaped the present and future of Fox News.
The Loudest Voice is currently streaming on Hotstar.