Chinatown ★★★★½

After many months of hearing about Roman Polanski's supposed masterwork Chinatown, I was finally able to see it, as it was in my college's library. I began the film after midnight, after watching Suspiria, but thanks to some absolutely incredibly performances and Robert Towne's legendary screenplay, I never once felt tired in the slightest.

I only saw The Shining relatively recently, and I may have loved Jack Nicholson even more in this film. I was honestly a bit surprised by just how amazing he was in this film. His charismatic, brutally masculine private investigator makes for an excellent protagonist, and he is always able to suggest a darker side to him, in spite of his honourable intentions.

While Nicholson surpassed my expectations, perhaps an even bigger shock for me was Faye Dunaway, who plays wealthy socialite Evelyn Mulwray with a fascinating gravitas. She is written exceptionally well, and the audience is constantly wondering whether she is a typical femme fatale or something much more than that. Her character's arc has an extraordinarily powerful conclusion that will hit any viewer like a truck and left me quite speechless.

Robert Towne's screenplay really is exceptional here. Almost every single line of dialogue works to serve the story, with so many hints and clues scattered throughout that Chinatown will surely make a very satisfying rewatch. There are many memorable lines and scenes and the story is told so intelligently, with a consistent air of suspense throughout.

Polanksi's directorial talents really do shine in this film, and I definitely enjoyed this over The Pianist. This is definitely one of my favourite noir films ever, and it has left me burning to see many more films such as The Maltese Falcon and Bonnie and Clyde.

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