The Town

I’ll see you again, this side or the other.

I saw this movie on DVD the other day and I truly enjoyed it. I expected dull moments because there wasn’t much hype around here about this film (and I honestly don’t remember it having been shown in local cinemas) but I also expected a decent plot because it came highly recommended by a colleague who loves watching movies. He was much surprised that it was Written and Directed by Ben Affleck. He did a splendid job, if I may say so.

The setting: Charlestown. The bank robbery capital of America. The protagonists: the bad guys – a band of bank robbers. It doesn’t help that characterization for the FBI isn’t one you would empathize with. My loyalty was definitely with the bad guys. The redeeming factor? Doug did genuinely want to leave it all behind.

While watching I couldn’t help but wonder if there really was a place in Boston called Charlestown, and there is. The locals (predominantly Irish-Catholic) were called Townies, and there were Tunies (also mentioned in the flick) who later on came in to populate the place as well. Apparently, there also was a time in its history when Charlestown did have that reputation for being highly concentrated with bank robbers, but that is a thing of the past. Like most other neighborhoods, it is populated by good people with a bit of the bad.

Here’s a photo of a street in Charlestown (source):

Apart from the awesome action scenes (car chase, gunfight, robbery), what was notable in the movie for me was how there was not much judgement for the robbers themselves. If anything, there was a sense of awe and respect for the way they planned the heist, along with the brilliant execution. For the most part, they seemed like normal people who had family and friends. Normal people who have had to deal with their own blown out personal issues. Funny how the streets of Charlestown actually felt safe even when you knew you were among criminals (as if I actually walked their streets :)).

I will have to say that even though some of the plot elements were predictable the treatment was fresh, and there were still some unexpected twists.

The film is based on a novel, can’t wait to lay my hands on that too.

Check out the trailer after the jump.