Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Public Enemies

When a new Johnny movie premieres, I tend to be there opening day. So, we went to see Public Enemies this afternoon, although our local theater wasn't bothering to play it. Yes, I drove the 30 miles on opening day to check out Mr. Depp's newest work.

It was well worth it.

I won't go on about what a great job he did because anyone who has followed him knows he does, and he did. Incredible as usual. But there are many other reasons to see this film.

It's history. John Dillinger was considered a hero by much of the public in the 1930s. It was in the midst of the depression when everyone was angry about how the banks handled things so badly and people lost so much (sound familiar?). Dillinger grabbed lots of it, but never took it from individuals inside the bank, telling them he didn't want their money, only the bank's. Of course there's a bit of logic missing there since people fund the bank money, but only to an extent. They're making bunches off our money and they did then, and when they mismanage it's of course not only their money they lose. So in a time of no sympathy with or high opinion of bankers, Dillinger struck gold with public opinion.

It's societal. I don't want to say too much and spoil anything but there are points made that we need to consider as a society. Dillinger was considered Public Enemy Number One. But what of the Chicago cops taking bribes from gangsters to leave them alone? What of the police brutality? What about being overly punished for minor offenses? Those things build the criminal element, as they helped to build Dillinger's power and public sympathy for him. And they still happen.

It does not glamorize criminal life. It shows straight out the costs, very high costs, of taking that route, with no actual gain. A good lesson there.

It's artistic. This film was very well made. It's not overly gory for being a gangster film. It has beautiful effects that add to the imagery without being over the top. It truly is art, which I don't find a lot of on the big screen anymore.

It's well worth watching. It's even worth supporting, something I also don't find much in Hollywood these days.

The next one I look forward to is The Ugly Truth. That should be a riot!


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the film. I've been debating whether to pay the money to see it, and your review has nudged me into the "Yes" column.

LK Hunsaker said...

Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dorothy said...

I went to see the movie for the second time this afternoon. I was close enough to a theater at the right time, and couldn't resist. I'm always impressed with Johnny Depp's work. He's a true artist.

My views about the history of the story are right in line with what Loraine has already expressed. As we have come to learn much more about J. Edgar Hoover, and what he really was, as well as some of the law enforcement team, we've come to realize that all the "bad guys" were not robbing the bank. Some of them were on the other side.