Dick Tracy ★★★★

Dick Tracy: Style as Substance

Primarily primary colors immediately orient the audience to an atmosphere of childish simplicity and caricature. Trueheart is red for desire and Big Boy is blue for dark contrast with the oddly heroic yellow reserved for Tracy. Playfully bright colors contrast the traditional menacingly dark shadows of film noir, bringing a distinct comedic twist to the solemnity. Silhouettes still mean trouble, but scaled to a frisky, vibrant spectrum.

Facial features stretch to distorted, exaggerated proportions, an artifice not only of appearance but of character. Everyone seems bigger than they are, compensation for the lack of other organs which the perky twitching of a cigar will never rectify. Matte paintings' contrived beauty ironically realizes the symbolic order of a society built on the false promise of unjust law.

Parallel editing brings together hero and enemy, a pair with a shrinking list of distinguishing characteristics. Wipe from scene to scene, and while players change situations stagnate. In montage a faction will rise or fall, but the two are one and the same when even corruption is corrupted by the impenetrable, omnipotent presence of The Style.

This movie rocks.

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