August 17, 2014
Movie Night: Chinatown.
Review #631: Chinatown.
Jack Nicholson (J.J. "Jake" Gittes), Faye Dunaway (Evelyn Cross Mulwray), John Huston (Noah Cross), Perry Lopez (Lieutenant Lou Escobar), John Hillerman (Russ Yelburton), Darrell Zwerling (Hollis I. Mulwray), Diane Ladd (Ida Sessions), and Roy Jenson (Claude Mulvihill) Directed by Roman Polanski.
Chinatown is a movie that basks in the past with much originality, with a high crafted story by Robert Towne. Nicholson is fun to watch here, he makes for a interesting character that is fun to watch in any scene. Dunaway seems like she's playing a femme fatale, but in reality she plays anything but that, and her emotions are very expressive, you get to feel for this character, and in a way also pity her as well. It's amazing how John Huston (a director who I've covered a few times before) can be so effective as a villain when you realize his soft demeanor hides his dark side, which is evident in the end scene. Speaking of which, the end scene is probably the most memorable aspect of this movie (that, and Nicholson's bandaged face), Towne originally had written a happier ending, but it was changed by the director to make for a more cynical, but still a better ending. It's a perfectly sad ending, a way to make the movie more than just a detective story, and more importantly, a classic story. The movie has its thrills and most importantly its chills, which make for a very well-rounded movie that's heartbreaking, but also very entertaining. Take the ending for what it's worth, or don't, whatever you want.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.