Man I hope this guy will feel bad for the rest of his life! Damn. There is rarely a film that really makes me angry. In this case it’s even good that it does. Because that’s what the movie wants. It shows a dilemma, of what would be the right decision to make, in a special situation. A decision that can change a whole life.
We all know that our day in day out life is restricted by rules. Even more in the civilized world, where there is a police and (normally) a clear distinction between right and wrong. The movie tries to analyze when it’s right to ‘bend’ the rules to prevent something from happening. It’s about ethics, morals and who decides what’s good or bad.
Now the story leads us to Boston, where a little girl gets kidnapped. No one knows where she is or who might have taken her. The police cannot find her and the media is all on this case. So the family hires Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), a private investigator. He, together with his girlfriend Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), are well known in the neighborhood and know ways to find out certain details. Angie hesitates at first. She doesn’t feel too comfortable taking the case of a kidnappes little girl. There she brings up a valid point that works throughout the whole movie. What if something goes wrong, something you have to live with, for the rest of your life? What if…? While both visit the mother, we can see that the mother is not exactly a role model for parenthood. Despite Angie’s hesitation, the two decide to take the case and team up with two cops. Remy Bressant (brilliant Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton) are long time serving cops. These guys have seen a lot and you immediately see that they want that girl back. No matter the costs. So the four start their search and soon find first leads. But something feels wrong about all this.
I don’t want to go into spoiler territory, since this is a film you should build your own opinion of. Let’s just say that the story is perfectly written for asking exactly the questions the movie wants to ask. Is it wrong to do something good, even if it means to break the law? Is it good to hold up the law even if it means the consequences are no happily ever after?
This movie is another splendid example of how capable Ben Affleck’s directing is. He really knows how to do a movie! His brother Casey does very well in the lead role and it feels like he and his brother are a great team. You can see Patrick’s (Casey) inner workings, how he’s trying to justify his decisions to himself. All through his face and eyes. Or Ed Harris as the worn out cop, who has seen his fair share of crap throughout his career. That’s what I would call great acting. And that goes for pretty much all the main actors in this film. You’re always sitting there thinking “ah now I know what direction the film is going…” and then the movie takes a turn into another direction. That’s at least what I was thinking.
So yeah, this movie made me angry! And it’s good! That’s what movies should do. Provoking emotions and asking the right questions. That’s what this movie does and I can only applaud that.