Tuesday, December 06, 2005

155: Chinatown

This one started off looking pretty damn dissapointing. Its wasa real slow build and I had been expecting a noir film along the linesof the old Bogart movies. They were black and white and had a real sarcastic wit whereas 'Chinatown' was all colour and there was quite a bit of humourin there.

However as I watched the twists started to come and the pace was upped. The tone of the movie changes pretty dramatically when Jack Gittes (Jack Nicholsons character)is threatened by a couple of Goons gaurding a site where some illegal goingson are happening, his witty retorts are rewarded by a nose sliced up with a knife.

You can't help but like Jack, he's a private detective with a good sense of right and wrong in the noir tradition. He's not infallible though and he makes mistakes,makes incorrect accusations but his hearts in the right place. he's street smartthough and makes good use out of a couple of business cards and a busted tail light.

And because you like him its all the worse when the last few twists unfold and it all goes wrong. Its a downer of an ending, brilliant, but a real downer...
The part was written for Jack nicholson , and you can tell. He eats the screen,even Faye Dunaway barely gets a look in as the femme fatale of the piece.Without him I dunno if I could have made it through the first half hour.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great film - I agree. See The Two Jakes for a follow up. (Jake Gittes by the way) Great movie... Some people think it's a bit loose compared to Chinatown but I think it's just a difference in direction (Nicholson direced it himself).

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