"L.A. Confidential" is a 1997 crime film and the award-winning movie directed, co-written and produced by Curtis Hanson. The film is an epitome of an ingenious adoption of James Ellroy's 1990 novel by the same title. The film is an all-time masterpiece that reminisces the source of rot in Los Angeles and the region of Southern California. It draws its significance in crime literature by providing a broader outlook on the how police corruption interlinks with other social systems such as Hollywood celebrity. It not only explores crime psychology but also uses landmark characters to exhibit it. Conceivably, the way "L.A Confidential" portrays crimes, and the role of the police in either perpetuating or eradicating them makes it provide an essential benchmark on which to gauge the society in which such things occur.
The crime drama delves into the exploration of the various undertones and dark sides of the then Los Angeles society in a way that makes it more than just a thriller but an expository narrative. It shows the Los Angeles and Southern California as ravaged by criminal activities. The film unreservedly portrays Southern California as being a haven of different social vices. In fact, it shows the labyrinth of corruption, drug trafficking, pornography, rape, massacre and prostitution as some of the things that defined Southern California.
An in-depth look at "L.A Confidential" exposes its uniqueness since it encapsulates both the most common themes of noirs including corruption and deceit. Despite the fact that the film traces the journey of its characters throughout, it recaptures the immersive, multidimensional and dangerous setting on which the film focuses. By casting scenes where men are killed in cold blood and broad daylight, the film juxtaposes the dark side of Los Angeles. In fact, the film is reminiscent of places such as Chinatown and shows how similar areas in Southern California struggled with the pervasiveness of corruption. For instance, the film centered on a murder investigation which eventually uncovers various other forms of antisocial lifestyle in the region including high-class prostitution.
The film also presents a classic labyrinthine story in which all the main characters are shown as being on the same side even as they investigate different criminal activities. Despite the fact that the investigations that the main characters conduct seem segregated, the film succeeds in uncovering the masterminds. The police seem to take different stances on the issue of crime but eventually agree when it comes to unearthing some of the entrenched criminal activities in Southern California. The approach of portraying characters as being adversarial then drastically becoming allies makes the film not only vigorously surprising but also more inclined towards a true mystery than an arbitrary thriller.
Despite the fact that "L.A Confidential" is described just as a film noir, it is more than just ordinary one since it focuses on the psychology of its characters as manifest in the case of the two men who have a romantic attachment to Basinger's hooker. Furthermore, the film is replete with all the elements that a police action should have but in a more economical style since such action do not exist for themselves but rather as an avenue to provide the platform for the characters to operate.
"L.A Confidential" is rife with cutting-edge cinematographic elements that distinguish it from other noirs. The film first appears to lack any concrete plot since it is initially characterized only by lovely dialogues that qualify as semparodies. In fact, one can question how any two or more events in the film are related. Nonetheless, the question about plot changes drastically as the film progressively blends these various parts into one perceivable plot of police action and crime. In essence, the seemingly disjointed threads of conversation have to be viewed more comprehensively so that they show the plot of the film. It is only in the scene where a character is being interrogated that the audience gets a synopsis of the movie and thus its plot. This technique is uncommon and not easy.
The convincing characters in "L.A Confidential" compounded with the atmosphere within which it is set adds to its significance as a crime film. The characters including Kim Basinger's hooker, Russell Crowe, and Guy Pearce perform star-making roles in the film. They exhibit the ability to move between two worlds of fiction and reality while at the same time betraying both. One of the wonderful scenes in the film that shows its significance is where Kevin Spacey fails to cooperate with the department of the investigation until when they threaten his job on the television show. Through these characters, the film achieves the old-fashioned pleasures of a complicated yet well-acted story with a tinge of modem movie jolts such as violence, and graphic sex. In essence, the film exposes the dark things in the history of Los Angeles but maintains its sense of humor. Exley, a charming character in "L.A Confidential" also exhibits flawless performance and succeeds in invoking the emotion of the audience especially the scene where he recasts about the death of his father. The film has somehow unrelated episodes with outstanding characters who perform their roles exquisitely to move the film forward.
"L.A. Confidential'' contemplates a leering tabloid mentality and expresses the narratives secret dreams. Furthermore, the cynicism that Sid's perfectly exhibit sets the tone for the film. In fact, it sets the ersatz movie-star elegance for the movie. It is evident in the scene where a police officer tells one of his officials, ''Don't start trying to do the right thing, boy-o,''...''You haven't had the practice.'' The fact that the film greatly relies on the unsettling bursts of violence which manifest in the form of bloody shootings, police action, and intense physical beatings gives it the picture a palpable gist of menace thus making it more realistic and emotional.
The soundtrack of L.A Confidential is a masterpiece. For instance, the trumpet that dominates the background of the film makes the film have its glamour. The trumpet that is masterfully done brings the emotional pitch of the film to greater heights. In fact, it moves the emotional pitch beyond what the writing of the script or mechanism of the film could deliver alone. The film manifests the power of music to evoke emotions. In fact, the soundtrack has a good stereo that is well spread throughout. Furthermore, the elements of the movie achieved an articulate blend and moved smoothly across the films front spectrum. Being in an era of Jazz music, the surrounds of the soundtrack fairly contributed to the reinforcement of the front elements. Furthermore, the shootout at the end of the movie provided the most active employment of the rear speakers.
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