Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting in Character: The retired criminal

There are many kinds of people in crime thrillers, film noirs and any film that has to do with commiting sinful acts. The main character of each film usually involves himself into crime. IT's often by choice because that character's pissed off, has a criminal history within his family or if he's just a wannabe or aspired to commit crime.

The release of Ben Affleck's movie The Town as a director, writer and actor shows a kind of person that's about to become cliched in future films like this: the retired criminal or the 'I-had-enough-of-this' phonie. In The Town, Afleck plays a proffessional bank robber but after falling in love with a hostage, he decided to change his act and leave Boston for good.

Affleck proves he can direct in this one and by no means Gone Baby Gone was just a fluke.

But when I see his character it just looks and reminds me of Martin Scorsese's The Departed and how Leonardo Dicaprio plays that same character. In The Departed, Dicaprio plays a rookie trooper Billy Costigan who goes undercover to take that down corrupt cops because he used to be a ruthless crim. Billy wishes he had given up crime for the sake of his family who were also crims and replace it with another piece of identity. He also falls in love with his appointed councillor.

When these characters get to this point, you would actually feel for them. When it comes to what I see, I wouldn't care. It's what they are that I actually feel. Leonardo is a great actor and the main weapon for his acting is that certain charisma and angst loaded in his system. In The Departed, he's pretty cool in this. He plays a character who wouldn't want to get back to his roots. But it's the police or else. Sometimes [his character] Billy can get steamy by how much pressure he can by the two points of authority: the cops and the crims for swhich he workes undercover. Unlike his opposite Matt Damon, Dicaprio's under pressure into taking risks. He also has to face some rules undercover. If you're late, you're likely to be the rat and if you don't do what's ordered, you're also a rat. Possibly losing his life

Affleck's character Doug though is sort of like him. He doesn't want to go through with his criminal activities because of his family saga and how he's currently in a relationship with the girl he had abducted. Creepy. So he wish to retire, but it wasn't in his wishes by his boss (played by Pete Postlethiate) and wingman Jem (Jeremy Renner). But instead of losing his life if he did, he would lose the girl because Jem had already found out.

The thing about retired criminals is by the point where they get to complain about commiting a crime, you'll know that character is becoming tedious and more hateful. It's their egos that comes to my groans.

Then why did I liked The Town. Because from the start Affleck's character was a dangerous crim at first, but when finding a connection, he decides that he's given up on himself and wouldn't continue for the sake of his family where his mom's dead and his dad's in prison.

And despite the fact I liked The Departed and is still one of my favourite movies, it wouldn't be the first time that a character like Leo's playing would be seen before. Well... I don't know any characters to begin with, but which characters are there that complains about being in the criminal underworld?

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