The story is set during the Prohibition era which is the 1920s and focuses on the Bondurant brothers who are Forrest (Tom Hardy) who's the eldest, Howard (Jason Clarke) who really loves what they sell and Jack (Shia LaBeouf) the youngest and has a foot out of, more than in the family business which is a successful liquor bootlegging venture in Franklin County, Virginia, It was run with the help of their friend, Cricket Pate (Dane DeHaan). To make their business look legitimate they use a bar as a front for their illegal activities.
One day, Jack witnesses mobster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman) eliminating a competitor, they exchange looks before Jack returns to the bar, where Forrest hires Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain), a dancer from Chicago, to be their new waitress.
Shortly afterwards, the bar is visited by the brutal Special Agent Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce), on behalf of District Attorney Mason Wardell. Rakes informs Forrest that he wants a cut of all profit made by Franklin's bootleggers, but Forrest refuses and threatens to kill Rakes if he returns. Forrest later meets with the other bootleggers and convinces them to stand up to Rakes as well, though they eventually give in to Rakes' violent intimidation tactics.
Now that's the plot which isn't really complicated unlike the main character played by Tom Hardy who has a face on him which says "I'm capable of going a mile further than you" whereas Shia's character says "I’m with my big bro!".
This is a period piece based around the time in American history when "The West was still struggling not to be so wild" but wild it was. Apparently the film is based on the life of the writer's Grandfather and Great Uncles and is taken from the novel called "The Wettest County in The World".
The book goes into great detail about the killings and speaking of which this film does show some gruesome bits, fully justifying its 18 certificate. The downside about this movie is that I can imagine the book being more interesting than the film, why? Because I think when they were editing it they may have removed the bits which were probably brutal and were possibly the bits that made the story. Apart from that I found the film quite watchable.
What’s also really cool about this film are the clothes worn by the brothers, which consisted of short trousers, ankle boots, shirts and waistcoats (think Tom Ford/Tom Browne). Guy Pearce's character seems to have OCD and although he dresses smart, his style isn't my cup of tea.
What this film brought home to me was that America was born into corruption and violence that exists till this very day. Pearce's character “Rakes” was like a forerunner of an FBI agent whom they (his work colleagues and bosses) all knew but used him to their advantage (aka better the devil you know), whereas I believe law enforcers should be above reproach just as you'd expect a Priest to be in his dealing with the community regardless of the age or inexperience of the person. Same applies to a teacher, public servant (emphasis on the serving bit). Governments all around the world and clergy from all the major religions all seem to be self seeking, hence the world wide problems we face.
Finally, as every fugitive eventually realises that the biggest crooks are those whom you have to pay to appear "legit", when will the "biggest crooks" get their day of judgement?
Take the office of fair trade (OFT) in the UK. It wants to know why fuel prices are so high. Answer, for every 133p we pay per litre for fuel, the Government take 78p of it in stealth taxes which is exactly what Special Agent Rakes did and had a badge to legitimise his actions, even though everyone around knew what he was doing but because he represented "them" he received "power to abuse".
Wrong….. But it’s a film showing you how the "West was won" (to corruption)…
Article by @gmanzen / 9th September 2012
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