A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Devil in a Blue Dress
Just home from World War II and in need of a job, Easy Rawlins is in need of some cash to pay the mortgage on his home. So when his friend introduces him to a small time hood in need of a favor, Easy jumps at the opportunity. His task is to find the missing girlfriend of a mayoral candidate, and since this is an entry in the noir drama, this won't be as easy as it sounds. Devil in a Blue Dress captures the essence of the ever emulated genre, from its tone to its setting and locations which makes it all the more baffling why the movie isn't as compelling as it should be. The movie is well written and nicely told in parts and poorly written and unfocused in others. The movie is also borrows heavily from Chinatown, in terms of the plot, Los Angeles locations, and a familial revelation. The acting is fine. Denzel Washington shines in the lead and actually does a bit more acting here then usual and Don Cheadle is explosive as Washington's murderous childhood friend. The movie also wants to make great statements about race and segregation during the era which works when done subtlely, but mars the movie when the message is screamed. The ending also rings false, and for a film that seems so in tuned with film noir, its denouement goes against everything these type of movies should be.