The use of exaggeration in semi-biographical films

With the release of films such as Ip Man, Braveheart, The Social Network, and Imitation Game, more and more famous heroes of the past and present are getting the Hollywood treatment, and are made to seem beyond the realm of fantastic in most cases. What kind of effect does this have on the reputation of historical characters, and does exaggeration only add to the enjoyment of a film, or does it detract from the greatness of reality?

  • Biographical adaptations made interesting for cultural consumption extends beyond recent films. Consider the reputation of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus or Thomas Edison in Edison, The Man. If we had to dig deeper into the past, how about Richard III, from Shakespeare? (Or really just about anybody Shakespeare based on an actual person). If one were to pursue this good refinements would be asking, if these distortions are governed by narrative (cooler story), political (patronage issues), or technical/logistical (Can't film/stage certain scenes) motives? – rj2n 9 years ago
  • Maybe, instead of focusing on the effects movies "based" on historical events have on society, it would be a more interesting idea to point out that society is generally poorly trained to distinguish fact from fiction. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

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