On “The Town”

October 7, 2010
By

Saturday night I went and did it.

It didn’t take much courage.

I wasn’t too worried.

I didn’t load my automatic weapons, didn’t dress in a disguise, and made no plans for an escape.

I simply got in my car and drove to Revere, to the theater complex.

I bought a ticket.

I went into theater number seven, fourth on the right side.

I prepared myself with popcorn and a Coke.

I watched “The Town.”

It was good.

Very good.

Outstanding really.

Ben Affleck plays a great role very well.

He wears the persona of a younger Charlestown bank robber and hood almost perfectly.

And he gave the movie the right feeling with acting that is sure to get him some kind of award.

As the director of the movie, he brought just the right lighting and color to close-up movie making that resonates with the audience.

Everyone inside the theater loved this movie.

Jeremy Renner, one of Affleck’s partners in crime, is brilliant as a psychotic, paranoid, whacked out Charlestown kid devoted to violence and destruction.

We’ve all known a few people like him in our lives.

The North End robbery and subsequent police car chase was riveting, violent, and altogether brutal – fabulous thriller stuff.

In fact, all the violence was the quintessence of Charlestown tough.

The cinematography was a big part of this film.

The overhead views of Boston, the North End, and the repeated overhead views of Charlestown encapsulated what Affleck was trying to convey – the tightness of the space. The crowded nature of life in Charlestown. The old mixing with the new. The gorgeous architecture and the projects which are about thesis and anti-thesis.

However, one scene sums it up better than all the others for the Charlestown bankrobber aficionados who have gone to watch “The Town.”

After one of the bank robberies Affleck et al race for the bridge to Charlestown. They beat the cops who shut the bridge after they’ve gone over it – to freedom.

To get to Charlestown was to live free.

The bank robbers step out of their vehicle. They are holding their automatic weapons and wearing their disguises.

Then they look up to find a Boston cop reading a newspaper in his police car.

They look at him.

He looks at them.

A long moment passes with intensity.

Then the cop turns away – and the bank robbers go free.

In the Charlestown of old that police move was called self-preservation and exercising good common sense.

In “The Town” it is the stuff of Hollywood.

  • Morry

    I grew up in Charlestown I live in Los Angeles and saw the movie multible times because my friends wanted to see it with a real Townie… Good, Bad or indifferent If it buy’s tickets for Ben’s movie I’ll go everytime… Morry

    • mplo

      I have to admit to one thing, Morry; Having seen the movie “The Town” several more times afterwards, I began to take a harder, more critical look at “The Town”, and, while the beginning of this film, with the opening aerial/on-the-ground shots of Charlestown and Boston generally, as well as the opening heist, indicated “The Town’s” potential for being a really good or even a great film, it began to go downhill for me in a matter of minutes. The Doug-Claire romance, as well as the ending of the theatrical version, kind of ruined the film for me.

  • mplo

    Hey…I, too saw “The Town”…twice! It’s not “West Side Story” (my all time favorite film), but it’s well worth seeing!