Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Black Dahlia(2006)

This film is based on the unsolved murder of a woman called Elizabeth Short(pictured left) or more commonly known as 'The Black Dahlia' in the 1940's. She was a 22 year old woman who came to Hollywood to find fame and fortune and instead was found murdered. She had been cut in half and her face sliced. The film is also based on a novel written about the case by James Ellroy who also wrote L.A. Confidential. It is directed by Brian De Palma who also directed Scarface and The Untouchables. Unfortunately, this movie pales in comparison to those classics. The film follows two L.A. detectives. Firstly, there is Lee Blanchard(Aaron Eckhart) and Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert(Josh Hartnett).They are friends and they get to work together busting bad guys. Lee has a girlfriend, Kay Lake(Scarlett Johansson) and there is sexual tension between Bucky and Kay, but nothing is done about it as Bucky values his friendship with Lee. The two cops are making headlines arresting the bad guys in L.A. when the body of a young woman is found. She has been cut in two and mutilated. Lee and Bucky get assigned to the case and it becomes known as The Black Dahlia Murder. They probe into Elizabeth Short's background and find that there are many people who knew her. She was so determined to break into the movies that she would do almost anything. She is haunting Lee and he wants to find her killer so much that it begins to affect his life. He is also worried about some guy called Bobby DeWitt being released from jail. De Witt used to be with Kay and Lee is worried about that. Bucky investigates the case and he meets Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank) who is supposed to look like the Black Dahlia.From here on, this movie takes a turn for the worse. I had high hopes when I saw that Josh Hartnett was in it as I think that he isn't a bad actor, but he had to struggle through this shabby movie. It becomes a cop thriller and the Black Dahlia is mentioned now and again to keep your interest. I did not like this movie much. I thought that it didn't delve into the case of the Black Dahlia enough and that the ending was ridiculous. Maybe it was meant to be a comedy. I wanted to see a factual account of the case with all of the details, but the Black Dahlia was just added in as an afterthought, it seems to me. I haven't read the book, so I can't say if this movie is faithful to the novel. I was just disappointed as the cast was impressive and the costumes and sets were good too. It was just the way the murder story was handled became uninteresting. It could have been a very good movie, but instead, it was mediocre and boring. I would give it 3/10.


Mariah said...

I totally agree. That movie was so bogus and not worth my time...

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