The Town

You either like Ben Affleck or you don’t. Or like me you aren’t a follower of the movies he stars in. WHAT?! Yes, no need to read it again. I don’t know how it’s possible but I see Ben Affleck as one of those underrated actors in Hollywood. Because he has been and continues to be a great actor showing off exceptionally his character’s emotions through the camera. This time he worked his magic again all over The Town [theatrical version], not only as an actor but he directed it as well. One of the few times I silently desired an actor to become a director: Affleck surely got skills.

The Town is about Charlestown in Boston: the neighborhood with a bad reputation where being a thief runs in the family. A small community of people or ‘brothers and sisters’; that is how Charlestown is described in the opening scene. Doug MacRay, longtime thief, is one of those Charlestown residents. With the use of a cold opening we straightly dive into his world and you know immediately that the movie’s storyline is local. It won’t be about heroes or the beautiful side of life but about one’s hard times. You also come to know that the POV is played through Doug’s eyes, the thief and the villain. A strange but interesting choice.

The movie follows the classic heist plot: many heists go well but then the last one fails – a disaster. However this plot is portrayed way differently than you would expect. Subjects like forbidden love and loyalty revolve around the main theme and that makes The Town also a very versatile movie. Doug MacRay needs to choose between his own brothers and sisters and his love at first sight, Claire Weesey (Rebecca Hall), who got kidnapped at the bank.

As time passes Doug starts feeling real emotions for Claire and we, the audience, start feeling empathy for the somewhat lost Doug. This is done extremely well by manipulating purposes and aims through the whole storyline.

What I didn’t like very much about The Town was the lack of realism. A woman like Claire wouldn’t find herself soon in bed with a man after she’d been kidnapped by a group of men. That’s just unrealistic storytelling, but hey, who cares anyway?

Nominated for an Academy Award, The Town is the gripping story of a local struggling with his emotions that make you even feel sorry for him. And then we may wonder if there are any boundaries to our own emotions…

B+

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