Great noir films begin with a feeling that something,somewhere in the vastness of this world that we inhabit,is spinning in ways too fast for us to grasp. Chinatown exemplifies this to the fullest;We see personal tragedy as a consequence of a futility in justice. Taxi Driver is a haunting look at ‘God’s lonely man’ who feels all around him is a superficial abyss. Drive explores the identity of the anti-hero within society. We find that a real hero is never far from a real human being.
Inevitable.Fateful.Tragic.Cathartic.This is why I love film noir. L.A. Confidential doesn’t exactly feel like film noir because it’s really kind of to-the-point. There’s no wastage and no scenes that romanticize the era or genre. There is no lonely man, tragic hero nor nilhilistic themes. This one is straight-up crime caper style. The action is taut;The mystery is all there. But I’m not here to define the movie and try to box it up. An awesome film is awesome in its own way. With huge charisma from its four lead characters and a serious skill for re-imagining the ‘buddy-cop’ theme into serious and insightful material, L.A Confidential is top-notch in almost every way. It’s entertaining, fiesty and misleadingly suspenseful. Los Angeles’ toxic underbelly of crime and corruption seems to start from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. L.A Confidential makes sure to keep you the the edge of your seat throughout.
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pierce were phenomenal in their respective cop roles. Spacey’s cop enjoys the spotlight as much as his job which creates an interesting dynamic when he’s on the same case as his other cop friends. Russell Crowe’s character is hot-headed vigilante who has no qualms about dealing justice with his own hands. Throw in Guy Pierce’s character who is the total opposite (a by-the-book kind of guy) and you get a disparate trio of trouble-makers. I say trouble-makers because the film has done such a great job crafting the crafty world of seedy intentions and mysterious connections. Even justice has been tainted by vice. The film has done a great job portraying, quite ironically, how our protagonists are a dying breed who try to preserve what is right.
Kim Bassinger plays Lynn, a character shrouded in the thickening plot that eludes our protagonists. Not merely a love interest or a ‘femme fatale’ we see in so many noir films, her encounters/conversations with Bud (Crowe) and Ed (Pierce) are one of the most thought-provoking. There is a great deal of insight to be gained from their heated and sometimes seductive dialogue; Their diction is charged with psychological back-and-forths. The animosity and feuds between the characters don’t detract from the main plot. In fact, they breathe life into what seems on paper to be a typical crime film with stoic policeman types. L.A. Confidential has created bold and fiery characters with a lot of heart and continue to make a lasting impression long after the viewing.
Danny DeVito’s character gives multiple voice-overs throughout the film through the perspective of a journalist. Though he isn’t that crucial to the main plot (he’s often seen being Jack’s go-to guy for information), he is the everyman in Tinsel Town. Just as he strives to benefit from the shady world where grey is the playing field, the film explores what we must do all the more when treading such dangerous ground. For all who haven’t seen the film, this is a must-watch. The acting is terrific and the whole crime show is a provocative study of intentions and duplicity.
9/10 I’m glad this was another great blinspot pick. Three out of three so far!