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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Creative Writing
English (U.S.)
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Essay on Chinatown (1974) Film Review Assignment (Essay Sample)


Essay on the film Chinatown (1974)

Professors name:
Chinatown (1974) Film
Roman Polanski’s Chinatown 1974 is one of the most exciting movies of the 1970’s which gives an in-depth look into the moral decay of a capitalist society that touches on almost every aspect of the lives of Los Angeles residents. The movie highlights various issues arising from a broken system whose hold is so firm to its culprits that even the proponents of change fail to comprehend the extent of the societal damage. Any quest to challenge or oppose the status quo is met with equally ferocious forces of the high and mighty ranging from mere threats to highly sophisticated conspiracies to divert attention and at times even death. Some of the main issues addressed in the movie include rampant corruption and impunity in the entire system of the society, high levels of deception, and financial or economic manipulations of the low earners by the rich and wealthy in the society. The theme of power and control also comes to the fore as the movie unfolds.
The film revolves around a former Los Angeles police detective, J.J Gittes, also known as Jake and who is now rendering his services directly to his clients through his private entity. He is a private investigator who mostly specializes in spying on cheating spouses or marriage deceptions for that matter. Jake is the movie’s protagonist whose leading role depicts him as a quiet, dedicated and a hardworking man who is passionate about his work. He understands the rot within the system, having been a member of the police department and believes he is doing an honest job outside the system, a fact he defends vehemently at a barbershop in a verbal exchange between him and a banker. He is very sensitive to his integrity and decency which fuels him in the quest for justice to the weak in the society. Jake makes an excellent job of playing the role of a whistleblower who against all the odds and in line with his moral values, goes out of his way to unearth some of the darkest and dangerous forms of moral decadence that control and destroy the lives and livelihoods of many people in Los Angeles.
In the early scenes, the movie introduces the audience to the moral conflicts emanating from working within the system, and that also unveils the main character's role. In the barber shop scene, the mortgage banker makes fun of Jakes detective work of “digging other people’s dirt” a statement that infuriates him very much. In retaliation, Jake defends his job and questions the banker’s moral values in his work saying, “I make an honest living. People come to me when they're in desperate situations. At least I don't throw p...
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