Chinatown ★★★★★

A city’s innermost secrets spilling out into the sea, drifting into the protection program of big business and bureaucracy. Nicholson personifies the helpless frustration of Los Angeles’ conscience, wading through the incestuous pit of corruption and parasitic politicians. Polanski’s nerve to explore a commentary on institutionalised abuse of power is almost as sickening as the film itself, the hypocrisy in its agenda impossible to ignore. In spite of this, Chinatown almost indifferently still manages to be the closest to black and white colour ever came, a format-defying film-noir for the ages. Goldsmith’s music is mystifying, Towne’s script is narrative gold, Faye Dunaway owns the screen, and to see John Huston give a performance on par with his directorial abilities is spine-chilling. In the end evil conquers all, and rich, sexual abusers magic themselves out of convictions, flying freely into the night. Sounds an awful lot like real life.

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