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Updated: April 11, 2012 17:39 IST

Classic crime

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Movie: L.A. Confidential (1997)

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Russel Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Here is a masterpiece that should be voted as one of the best movies ever to hit the screens. When you have an intelligent script supported by an entourage of power house performers like Kevin Spacey, Russel Crowe and Guy Pearce, it is three-fourths of the work done.

“L.A. Confidential” is not just any thriller. It is, in fact, a movie which portrays the 1950's so effectively that we are transported to that era of race discrimination, gender relations and the general corruption in society that prevails among the elite class. It showcases the competition and ego war between classes of the LAPD.

Story unfolds

Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce), Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), Bud White (Russel Crowe) find themselves a part of the team to solve a homicide that unfolds at the Nite Owl, a bar in Los Angeles.

From this point onwards it is a confluence of prostitutes, media prowl, double identities, clash of ideals that leads to a climax of epic proportions.

The plot unfolds slowly and it takes time to understand where things are headed to. An amalgamation of diverse elements that range from Los Angeles, the paradise on earth with bad cops and righteous cops to murder, mayhem, sex, corruption. Depicting each of them with such finesse, without losing grip on the core plot is definitely worth a standing ovation.

Kim Basinger has not been omitted from a mention because she requires a separate fleet of sentences and adjectives to compliment her performance. Her portrayal par-excellence as a high-class Hollywood prostitute deserves special mention.

Disparate events tagged with a complex plot is quite hard to follow, but once the credits roll, you make sense of everything and shout in appreciation.

Classic touch

Some of the situations can stun you as they come out of the blue. The unpredictability confounds you. The relaxed style is what makes the bloodshed seem even more violent. Even then, there is an uncanny subtlety running through the movie.

The music is another factor that gives it a classic feel. The racism depictions are blatant and the police officers' attitude towards Exley tugs at your heart.

“L.A. Confidential” is not just a raw spineless scandal montage but is a vibrant and irreverent look at the dark seedy underbelly of Los Angeles and the helplessness of a man who holds firmly to his principles. There are many gems in the movie that perfectly fits the crown of a classic movie. James Cromwell is the most chilled out bad guy you'll ever see on the silver screen.

Bottomline: L.A. Confidential has it all: rebel cops, battle of personalities, clash of attitudes, corrupt cops, two-faced killers, seductive women, drug-runners, prostitution, glamour, publicity stunts, murder, set-ups, mystery, gun fights, suspense, chase, brain-teasing twists and turns and everything works big time. It is a cult classic of the 1990's. 

ASHWATH RAM G., Final Year B.Tech, St. Joseph's College of Engineering

Keywords: Hollywood

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