Public Enemies

Some time ago I had posted on a few movies that I eagerly await (you can read it here). One of them released the last week. The reasons I had mentioned for 'Public Enemies' were - Directed by Michael Mann, Starring Johnny Depp, a story of the origins of the FBI.

Public Enemies scored on all 3 points and yet I was a tad little disappointed. Set in the 30s, the story is indeed of the manhunt for the Public Enemy, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) by the then fledgling Bureau of Investigation (which would later become the Federal Bureau of Investigation). The movie also stars Billy Crudup as the young J Edgar Hoover. Since I was fascinated by the FBI and its tales courtesy a book I read when I was in my schooldays I was keen to see this movie. While there are certain parts devoted to the development of the bureau, like the scene where Hoover is criticized for not having made a single arrest personally, largely the movie becomes more a look at John Dillinger. There is an appearance of 'baby' face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Pretty boy Floyd (Chatting Tatum) all marquee names in crime of the time.

The film attempts to portray Dillinger for the man he was and his personal life and love interest Billie (Marion Cotillard). Johnny Depp portrays the role with panache and style especially the smirky one liners. Take for example when he asks the cop- Where are they taking me ? when the cop says- Indiana, Dillinger (Depp) says- That's funny. There's absolutely nothing I want to in Indiana. There are a few light-hearted moments which are possibly authentic to the time but make us laugh now like the 'public enemy' message prior to a movie screening. Christian Bale as the modern special agent Melvin Purvis who is given the task of heading the field office in Chicago and take down Dillinger. The film gets to be unnecessary slow and I think that's where it loses out.

The sets, costumes and automobiles takes you back to the 30s. This, the depiction of life and crime in the 30s and Depp's acting are the the only things that give you your money's worth.

Is it worth watching ? Maybe, if you have followed the history of the FBI and the Chicago crime wave in the 30s.

John DillingerJohn Dillinger-Image via Wikipedia


Sohna,  August 9, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

I thought Depp was really good... but, then, he always is :)

Ved August 9, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

True. that's the problem. for him to really shine now, he needs an exceptional script

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