Monday, November 21, 2011

My Review of J. Edgar

First off let me say that the movie was not as bad as critics would have lead me to believe it would be. Rottentomates gave J. Edgar a rating of 40% but I would have easily given the movie anywhere between a 75% to 80%. I was thoroughly impressed with Leonardo DiCAprio's portrayal of Hoover, despite what many critics have described as a lackluster performance with too much makeup. I thought Clint Eastwood and the screenwriters did an excellent job of showing Hoover as a paranoid, egotistical, showboat. The final scene with Tolson and Hoover where Tolson confronts Edgar about his distortion of the truth in the lead up to Hoover's first "arrest" highlighted a lot about the Hoover character and was done in a compelling manner. I think the film did a good job of showing Hoover's continual obsession with the FBI's image and his own personal reputation. As far as character development goes this movie was done very well and did justice to a very confused, bewildering character.

I had a lot of problems with the basic story-telling structure of the movie plot. I think telling the story through anecdotal flashbacks was overdone and the plot became too convoluted because of the continuous transition between "present" day and Hoover's past. The story was somewhat difficult to follow as a result. But apart from general plot intricacies that were confusing, I was thoroughly impressed with the whole supporting cast (with the possible exception of Helen Gandy) and the general setting/choreography of the film. All in all a very fun excursion and an entertaining enough movie.

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