Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Movie Review: J. Edgar

J. Edgar, the movie, is one of Di Caprio’s best-played characters since The Aviator, the story of Howard Hughes. His portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover was a magnificent take that optimizes his talent as an actor.

J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is another remake of many films about Mr. John Edgar Hoover of the FBI. It is no surprise that his story is a favorite among film production outfits because of the countless intrigues that surrounded his life. Compared to other versions of the story, Clint Eastwood has masterfully rendered a well-balanced presentation of Hoover’s identity and life story in private as well as in public.

In this film, director Clint Eastwood brilliantly captured Hoover’s character which was very autocratic in many ways such as his obsession to fight radical movements in the US at that time and, not to mention, his intriguing secret relationship with his life-long assistant Clyde Tolson. But in the midst of all these seemingly questionable practices, in the majority of the public eye, Hoover remains a hero and a genius because he was the one who introduced dozens of innovative breakthroughs in the world of investigation and forensic science which made tracking down criminals a much easier task in the present day. 

However, there were also cases where he took false credit for some of FBI’s noteworthy arrest for himself. In his early days, when organized gangs were just becoming very popular in the US, the FBI was the key element in apprehending some of the worst criminals local law enforcers dare to pursue. On the other hand, there were also some rumors where he played “politics” with the mafia gangs and allowed leaders to have some tolerable control of their crimes.

The cinematography and special effects of the film were remarkable. The transformation of Di Caprio from a young, eager, and active agent to an aging, domineering Hoover in his later years was relatively notable. However, the facial prosthetic latex work of the old Tolson was not as convincing as Hoover’s. As far as acting is concerned, all the actors in the film have performed with their utmost abilities. 

As much as I don’t want to critic Eastwood’s direction in this film, a perplexing flow of scenes jumping from one era to another is very noticeable. And for those audiences who are not quite familiar with Hoover’s life story, they will find it bewildering to discover Hoover’s “gender preference” issue. In the earlier part of the movie, his character was established as a “straight” and unbending; a masculine and fearless top cop. The eventual revelation of the “gay issue” was too late in bringing the audiences to an awkward feeling of disappointment. 

Generally, J. Edgar is a 100% must watch film for 2012. It will educate movie goers with a little bit of history and leave them with a lesson that not all heroes we know are perfect in every way. J. Edgar is produced by Warner Bros. pictures and is still showing in major cinemas all over the metro.

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