When we see going places is what we do best when we are a private eye that keeps an eye on those who are going places they are not supposed to. When we see what places those go to get what they want to change places with others in whom we don't see they replace. When what we see in all places we place those those who hire us to uncover the truth. When what place we uncover what is transpiring in such places that the public eye don't want you to see is something more. When we see what place those are in when a crime is committed. When what places we go to get to other places we see what access gets us there when it's our place among law enforcement. When we see what place we are really amongst those who know us we see getting into places is what we have been known to do, to get into other places after when its trouble.
When we see what place those want to only get others to move from such places when they can make a profit. When we see what others don't see is what places we look for to uncover how they did it to know what places were not there as such details emerge. When we see getting in deeper in other places we know what place they put ahead when they don't accept other places entering to fit right in.
When we see others putting us in our place we see what such places hold to when its our silence. When we see what places we get in and out of when it's danger, love, crime when everyone puts everyone into place when they too need to get out of places they wish not be in. When we see what place those can put us in we see what place we belong when we are of some help.
When we see what is in place to see all the clues and details surface. When we see what places those end up when they are 2 places at once when those whom think they owe claim to such places they take what they want and put those in outside places they don't wish to be in. When what place we see money no longer matters when it's the truth and justice we seek when we see that we can't allow those to get away from such injustices to place them under arrest and responsible. When we don't see what such places will take us in the heat of passion, we see that those who are less invested in such places they wish to open and close they put ahead other places to do its job, the lawful place.
When we see what place we end up and others end up when such places we know we will never escape when such places takes a hold of us that we see no other way. When we don't see such places coming, to see that such places are already too late to take back when it's Chinatown. When we don't see what other places are no longer wanted when reaching to late or what is no longer relevant are lower places that higher places wish to put out so they could do their job.
When we don't see what our place in society means only to go places others don't get to go to know what is the right place the law should favor.
Una historia intrigante pero simple.
One of the few perfect movies ever made, atention to detail is the name of the game. Polanski and Nicholson at the top of their craft.
I don't think Nicholson has ever been better (which is really saying something). His performance is so brilliant that he lifts the performances of those around him, meaning that, even if you were on the look-out for the duff one amongst the great ones, you wouldn't find it.
There is absolutely nothing about this film that is not absolutely top-drawer. You come away from it feeling you really have seen one of the truly great pieces of American cinema, and there aren't many films that you can genuinely say that about.
Plot: In 1937 Los Angeles, private detective JJ 'Jake' Gittes (Jack Nicholson) specialises in matrimonial/cheating spouse cases. When he is hired by Evelyn Mulwray who suspects her husband Hollis - a high-profile engineer - of having an affair, he gets on the case and produces photographs of him with a young girl. It soon transpires that Jake was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway). When Hollis is found dead by drowning, Jake finds himself involved in a complex web of deceit involving murder, incest, and corruption that are all related to the city's water supply.
Opening with Jerry Goldsmith's seductive and evocative noir score, Chinatown establishes it's mood from the very opening credit sequence and a perfect introduction of what to expect. Paying homage to the traditional gumshoe approach of Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, Roman Polanski has a confident handle on Robert Towne's meticulously detailed screenplay. No sooner are we introduced to Private Investigator Jake Gittes as he surveys the sun-kissed lands of Los Angeles while applying the tricks of his trade to tail and investigate the latest of his infidelity cases. Like all good noir's, however, our doggedly determined P.I. soon stumbles onto something much bigger. In this case, the possibility of murder and the financial benefits of gentrification. As a result, Chinatown becomes a labyrinthine puzzle of a wider political spectrum that reaches far beyond anything expected and where nothing is quite as it seems.
It's apparent from the offset that Chinatown is an impeccably crafted film with a measured pace and an attention to detail that has rarely been matched. There's so much on display that it's obvious that the entire cast and crew are operating at the top of their game; Richard Sylbert's production design perfectly captures the look and feel for 1930's L.A. and it's complimented greatly with John A. Alonzo's sumptuous cinematography. It's the twists and turns of Towne's Oscar winning script that impress the most, though. He keeps us at arms length for the majority of the film and never forces his hand a minute too soon. Nothing is rushed here as it marvels in patience. Even the title of the movie is elusive and doesn't fully make sense until the film is given time to play out. In the meantime, Towne and Polanski tease with smidgens of information peppered throughout the narrative. For the first time viewer this could be a slight challenge but Chinatown has grown in its stature over the years because it's has replay value. In fact, it demands it. This is not a film that can be appreciated in one sitting but if invested in, it all comes together masterfully.
Even Jack Nicholson and his penchant for grandstanding is kept to a minimum. Nicholson keeps his usual histrionics at bay and although he displays flashes of his energetic approach to a character, his Jake Gittes is a far more reserved performance. Oscar nominated for his work, some still claim this to be Jack's best performance and it's not hard to see why.
An elusive masterpiece of mystery and intrigue. The beauty of Chinatown's narrative lies in the deceitful lies told by it's characters. So much of the dialogue and interactions are not what they seem and it maintains a sense of secrecy and mistrust that the story and film thrive on. At one point, John Huston's callous and calculated Noah Cross says... "You may believe you know what you're dealing with but you don't" - this quote, in itself, sums up the film which also has a knock-out reveal that you, simply, don't see coming.
It may be blasphemous to some (if not many) but my favourite of the sub-genre is still Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential. That said, Hanson's vision for that James Ellroy adaptation would, most likely, never have been possible had it not been for Chinatown leading the way in its style and composition. This is a timeless piece of cinema. Of course, the 1930's setting lends a hand but Chinatown hasn't aged in over 40 years which is a real testament to Polanski's approach to the material and the exemplary work by all involved.