Thursday, November 24, 2011

Is J. Edgar (2011 Film) Worth My Time?

I was expecting a film to commemorate J. E. Hoover.  Something patriotic.  Something to tell us how much he did for our country, and how things would be different without him.  

What I got was so much more.

The movie did show me some of that.  But what I got, and did not expect, was a story about a REAL person.  A story about someone imperfect.  A man with goals, dreams, hopes, reservations, fears, and confusion.  

The movie revolves around history, events that he shaped, and events that shaped him.  Knowing what happened in our history since 1914 could be very helpful.  You do not need to know every bit of history, but knowing the basics is a good idea.

A movie of 2 hours and 17 minutes seemed a little daunting to start with, but it progressed nicely, pulled you in from the start, and kept you interested until the end. 

The movie takes place over his lifetime in the FBI, but not chronologically.  It flips back and forth between "now" and the past, making it hard to follow at some points.  For the most part it was easy to tell when you were based on how old he looked.  Throughout the movie old J. E. Hoover is dictating a story to a writer, well multiple writers. Thus my confusion when the writer would change in what seemed like in the middle of a scene, split by a flashback, so really two scenes.

It is rated R, mostly unnecessary.  There is some bad language, some suggestive dialog, and adult moral issues.  

The plot was deep and thought provoking. Staring Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar, and directed by Clint Eastwood, could we expect anything less?  This movie is definitely worth your time.