Public Enemies (Review)


John Dillinger robs banks, evades justice and on the few occasions he does find himself arrested, he escapes with consummate ease. Christian Bale fumbles around and messes about going after John Dillinger. Marion Cotillard is wooed by a fur jacket and Dillinger’s disarming honesty. Channing Tatum has barely a scene. The movie is presented like a documentary and its best part is the 30 minutes or so, after the interval. (Intervals, these days, are subject to the whims of the reel guy. So that system of pointing-it-out is futile, but nevertheless.)

The movie, first half especially, looks and feels like a documentary programme of the History Channel. There’s probably one proper background track for the entire movie and most of the time, you feel as if you are watching a shooting in progress, not the digitally enhanced finished product. Even the action scenes (in the first half) don’t look exhilarating/exciting, they look laid back. In short, the first half, due to the documentary touch, is nauseating and uninspiring. (The one genuine background score too sounds listless in the movie, it sounded much more vibrant in the trailer!)

The second half starts with a bang and is really enjoyable for a while, even if it whimpers and flatters to deceive towards the end. The tempo is much higher and the docu-nauseation is pushed to the background by some slick action, but once Dillinger returns to Cotillard, the momentum slackens and the movie descends into a void, it never recovers from.

Aren’t movies more fun when both the sides are smart ? The Director by showing the police in extremely dumb light, particularly in the final quarter, turns the film into a misfiring far-fetched design designed to please the fans of Johnny Depp.  Johnny Depp (needless to say), baby faced Nelson and Marrion Cotillard (to a lesser degree) are the bright points of the film, which lives up to its star power in only one of the four quarters. The movie’s got a rating of 6.4 over at RT, it’s more of a 6 perhaps.

[At least, Channing Tatum should have been given a bigger role.]

P.S:- The trailer of Inglorious Basterds was shown prior to the movie. Does that mean it’s going to be released in Hyderabad?!!! Fingers Crossed.


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