Chinatown Review

I’ve always liked noir movies. Something about the depressing atmosphere and intrigue that coincides with stories like these is just so entertaining to watch. Whether that be a traditional take on noir like The Maltese Falcon or an updated take like Basic Instinct, I like em all. And no surprise, I like Chinatown.

To start, Jack Nicholson’s Jake Gittes is an entertaining protagonist. Aside from his antiquated way of treating women (he didn’t need to keep slapping Evelyn) he is a fairly likable protagonist. As per the genre, he ins’t some badass. He’s very real in his handling of danger, most often losing fights or finding a way to escape them. That goes a long way in informing his character and the audience that he might be in over his head. He is slightly naive but isn’t some bumbling idiot. He has some talent, and where it shines is in his police work.

What I found most enjoyable about him though was the “charm” Nicholson brings in him. I think he does a great job at making him neither too relatable or likable. He’s a person who we as an audience isn’t supposed to necessarily love. he’s complicated and problematic, and it’s a role that’s perfect for Nicholson.

I also liked the Faye Dunaway’s Evelyn Mulwray. She is sneaking and not exactly forthcoming, but is a compelling character none the less. Behind her cool and steely demeanor though lies a tragic story. When it is revealed what Cross did to her, she changes. we get to learn like Gittes does what actually motivated her, which makes the ending all the more tragic.

I really enjoyed the unresolved ending. Emblematic of its genre, the ending is abrupt and doesn’t fix anything. Cross seemingly wins and takes kathrine, leaving Evelyn dead and Jake bewildered, just like the audience.

Roman Polanski’s last film in the U.S. is one filled with intrigue and suspense. it’s a neo-noir classic and deserves a place as one of the best in its respective genre.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s