Friday, July 03, 2009

Public Enemies

This is the most savagely beautiful thing you'll see this year. I'd compare it to Bonnie and Clyde, since it's that good, but I almost wonder if that's not quite saying enough. The visuals are better in this film. The reliance on slow motion isn't as heavy handed. The characters, while still presented as larger-than-life caricatures, are somehow less sentimental and shallow - they seem more real, in a way. Purvis is cruel in the name of righteousness. Hoover is sadistic in the name of... well in the name of his own vanity and perversion. Billie is not just a bored hick, but exudes something more like Depression-era despair. Dillinger has some fierce loyalty that's gotten him through everything so far - until he encounters the demoralizing, desensitizing modern world of Big Crime and Big Government and Big Everything. He's too small for that, like a lone cowboy in a western that's set after the closing of the frontier. Please go see this instead of Transformers, so maybe Hollywood will make some more good movies.


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