Film: Public Enemies
Star Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Stephen Dorff, Channing Tatum, Billy Crudup, Leelee Sobieski, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Graham
Screenplay: Michael Mann, Ronan Bennett, Ann Biderman
Director: Michael Mann
Public Enemies is an unspoken paramount of the successful blend of two incongruent sides of writer and director Michael Mann who is well known to move back and forth in between the technicalities of his movies. Mann has excellently bought the style, substance and the sizzle together. Though not perfect, the movie still copes up itself with moments of salvation in being a strongly drawn, firmly made and beautifully casted depicting a perfect picture of the long-gone time and the end of the era.
Based on the book, Public Enemies written by Bryan Burrough, the movie swerves in between legend and fact and moves about mostly with the facts, though it is unable to convey its protagonist into its focal point as either a perfect anti-hero or a cordial sociopath. Johnny Depp acting as Dillinger is on the lam from a hatchling FBI guided from the desk by J. Edgar Hoover and Agent Melvin Purvis. Dillinger meets up Billie in a Chicago nightclub and at once decides that Billie is going to be his girl. Billie resists a little but likes it also, and before long they are having an epic, an almost abstract sex. This is followed by running around and shooting. In the mean time, Melvin Purvis thinks that Dillinger will move back to Chicago and puts up his men to keep a watch on Billie’s apartment. Billie manages to escape but Purvis’s men arrest her finally. At the other side, Dillinger sways off silently from the scene without anyone’s notice.
A lot of things are going on at one stretch and this has made the movie go jumble up completely confusing the audiences as to what is going on! Era’s famous personalities show off in front of the cameras, framed as “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Channing Tatum, at the time of the long range shot taken by Purvis, the famous bad guys Alvin Karpis, Giovanni Ribisi, and “Baby Face” Nelson, Stephen Graham, when scheming work with Dillinger, the crime boss Frank Nitti, Bill Camp, exhausted of Dillinger’s young mischief’s and finally a firm Billy Crudup, J. Edgar Hoover, just putting his hand on! You just cannot keep all of them straight at once and secondly the boring soundtrack going on in the background is of no help.
A typical gangster flick from the 1930’s the movie has got a lot of punch lined dialogues along with action and close-up shots that give it an in-face intensity. The best of the moments to look out for are when Dillinger’s crash out of the “escape proof” Crown Point, the driving off inside Lili Taylor’s, Sheriff, car and the shootout inside the Little Bohemis Lodge in addition to the bank robberies, jail breaks and the shootouts with G-men. The missing part is an exploration into the character. People are not yet familiar with who all of them are and as to why they all are here boosting themselves as a matter of concern. Yes, they are intelligent and smarter than the police and their jailors but still all this does not link up well.