I decided to watch this again after re-watching “Enemy of the State.”
The two movies share a common thread in that Gene Hackman plays a surveillance expert in both. But that’s where the similarities end.
“Enemy of the State” is a fast-paced techno thriller. “The Conversation” is about a lonely and awkward man haunted by a past trauma caused by his surveillance work.
“The Conversation” is incredibly well made. You can see it in every decision, every camera movement, every frame. It builds tension through quiet.
The one issue I’ve got with it–and this is something that affects many older movies–is that women in these films act and talk like dolls. There are three semi-significant female roles in “The Conversation” and every one of them features a young woman who seems naive and flighty. They all slur their words and bat their eyes.
The same thing shows up–though not to the same extent–in “All the President’s Men.” It’s like directors told actresses to speak slow and play dumb. It’s bizarre and off-putting.