Sunday, 1 June 2008

Chinatown [1974]

Chinatown wasn’t just the finest work of the iconoclastic Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, it has also established itself as one of the best film noirs ever made (a fantastic achievement considering the stupendous movies made in this genre) – even though it should more accurately be referred to as a neo-noir, and one of the most talked about movies of its era. It is a complex, hard boiled tale of human corruption, deceit, betrayal and murder, and culminates in one of the most fascinating climaxes ever composed for the silver screen. Jack Nicholson, as the edgy, cynical private eye Jack Gittes, delivered an absolutely terrific performance with ease, panache, wicked charm and the kind of volcanic energy only he's capable of displaying. Faye Dunaway, as Gittes’ love interest and the vulnerable damsel in distress harbouring a very dark secret, was also memorable. Despite, or perhaps because of, the Byzantine plot, cold portrayal of a sordid world, and dark nihilism, it is impossible to escape being awed and mesmerized by this iconic one-of-its-kind crime-drama.

Director: Roman Polanski
Genre: Film Noir/Post-Noir/Crime Drama/Private Eye Film/Mystery
Language: English
Country: US

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