Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Town Film Review

After robbing a bank, Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) follows bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) who was a key witness in the incident and after speaking to the FBI, could lead to their imprisonment, but he falls in love with her. Whilst he tries to leave his life of crime behind him, he gets dragged deeper into the business and FBI reveal the truth about Doug's identity to Claire. Will Doug be able to survive one last heist so he can go away with Claire? Or will Claire turn him in to the FBI?

Despite the initial plunge into an exciting bank robbery, the pace throughout the film is almost always moderate to slow. As an audience we are captured by the double life Doug leads and his relationship with Claire is almost the central storyline, although there are many other core themes and side stories that are only slightly touched upon, for example Doug's parental relationships, his relationship with Krista and how he firstgot involved, all of which are not fully developed.

There is a lacking sense of urgency or tension of the possibility that the gang might get caught. The car chases and the explosive shoot-out at the end are perhaps the only "action" sequences, the rest being more drama orientated. I quite like the interlocking relationships that are explored and the characters' reactions to each, for example: The FBI's relation to Doug, Claire and Krista; Claire and Krista's relationship with Doug; and Doug's parental relationship and upbringing. 

The film follows quite a typical formula for this sort of "gangster heist" movie mixed with the "rom com" cherry on top of "male lead having secret which ruins relationship with female lead". Despite this factor, there is a focus on the character of Doug and how one event leads him to change, and this exploration of actions, consequences and fate is extremely interesting.

I expected the ending to follow the same typical formula the rest of the film took, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not all you expect. The open ending leaves a catharsis that is calming after the extreme actions Doug takes and the typical expected happy ending could almost follow after the credits roll, but is satisfyingly left open.

Ben Affleck- Doug MacRay
Rebecca Hall- Claire Keesey
Blake Lively- Krista Coughlin

Also stars Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Chris Cooper

I thought Ben Affleck did a good job. I've never been a fan, but this film does make him more favourable. I thought he was mostly believable, though at times not so. This film is also directed by him, so I suppose more credit has to go to him.

Blake Lively is a pleasant surprise, playing a more gritty and ghetto girl, which mostly works. Her ghetto voice for certain words works really well, but at times still sound very upper east side, the same could be said of her appearance.

The Town is definitely an enjoyable film that takes the typical "gangster heist" movie to another level, focussing on the relationships a tad bit more than the action, which will appeal to some, but not all. I'd personally prefer a bit more action, as the pace throughout is slightly slow and there is a lack of tension. However, the storyline, themes and the ending are spot on. Highly recommended.

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