November 08, 2011

The Town

I have just finished watching The Town, the 2010 film starring Ben Affleck; and I must say that I was very impressed. I knew I wanted to watch The Town the moment I knew about it. Unfortunately, I was not able to catch it on the big screen because of a whole set of factors; and now, I'm regretting it. I wish I was able to go to the cinema and watched it there. Ben Affleck, also the director the film, created an action packed film that also had a striking story line.

The film revolved around Douglas MacRay, a bank robber, and the conflicts surrounding his life in Charlestown. I was a little worried when I saw the opening scene because I thought that it would be just an ordinary bank robbery scene, just like in the other movies; and it was. However, although the scene was very predictable, I still did not feel like I've seen it before since it included other elements that established the main conflict of the whole movie in that scene. It is in this scene that MacRay met Claire, the bank manager. The aftermath of the opening scene is developed through the interaction of the different characters which created even more conflicts. There was a conflict between MacRay and his best friend, Jem Coughlin, when the latter discovered that MacRay was going out with Claire, the bank manager of the bank they robbed. There were also instances when MacRay wanted to quit and leave Charlestown, which, again, caused more conflicts when "the florist" threatened to kill Claire if Doug did not participate in another heist. The way the film made these characters interact, in my opinion, helped build a stronger story line and, in effect, a stronger movie. 

The drama/romance part of the film between Doug and Claire was well planned and executed. I did not think that it was overdone which made me appreciate this aspect of the film. The story lines and the dialogue had a continuous flow and had a clear direction. I think some scenes were a little predictable but it didn't matter looking at the movie as a whole.

The action parts of the movie were also intense and authentic. The thing that I noticed was the progression that happened in the three robberies they did. In the first one, the aim was to not hurt people and be as peaceful as possible. In the second one, guns were fired to escape, which signaled that the team was now ready to do whatever it takes. In the last one, there was a bloodshed where lives were taken. The last fighting scene was a highlight for me since it portrayed a realistic scenario in a very believable way. I was impressed how Affelck directed the action scenes and how each other played their part.

Speaking of actors, I think one of the big reasons why this film worked was the cast. They managed to assemble a very talented cast who were able to capture the essence of each character. The last movie I saw starring Ben Affleck was Daredevil, and this movie was a good way to see him on a film again. According to my research Jeremy Renner was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Jem Coughlin; and I believe he truly deserved the nomination. I recognized how evil Coughlin is, and that's a clear sign that Renner was able to portray the role in an effective manner. I did not know Rebecca Hall before seeing this film, but I am now looking forward to seeing her other films. I have to say that I did not like Blake Lively's performance in the beginning. I've seen Green Lantern, and, comparing her work there to her work in The Town, I found it odd that her performance was not working. However, towards the latter part of the film, she really did a convincing job, especially in the scene in the hospital where she talked to the FBI. Although they did not get much attention, I thought the performances of Slaine and Owen Burke as members of the gang were worth noticing.

I highly recommend this film. The film played with different elements throughout the film. I liked the concept of using the "sunny days" and Doug's father's line: "I'll see you again, this side or the other." When the father said it in the prison scene, I found it very smart. However, witnessing how they used it in the end of the film made me realize that the use of the line in the middle of the film was genius. That's the other thing about the movie, it had a stimulating ending that had an impact on me, as a viewer. If you're looking for a film to see, The Town is an excellent choice. I highly doubt anyone will be disappointed by it.

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