J Edgar Review

This movie is more of a biography of J Edgar. Of course the movie took liberties about assumptions made on the man’s private life, but overall the movie was fascinating. It follows Hoover in the early years of his career to the end. It shows how he changed the face of fighting crime, introduced forensics to the FBI and heck how he made the FBI! He is portrayed as a highly organized man, a man who knew exactly where he wanted crime fighting to go and the kind of men he wanted to have working for him to get there.

The film is good at illustrating the kind of person required for the position of the director of the Bureau and the reason why Hoover was the best person for it. It required someone who was highly intelligent, someone who was not intimidated by Presidents. The movie characterizes Hoover as the type of man who would set up illegal surveillance on potential future Presidents so as to ensure his position within the Bureau.

Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic in this movie. Even when he plays Hoover when he is old. DiCaprio is able to capture the essence of Hoover, how he talks, looks at people–it has a commanding force and readily believe in his performance. He also captures Hoover’s arrogance, his need to be taken seriously be those around him and to be perceived by the public as a hero. Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson was also fantastic. He has this swagger about him in the film that makes you love him. He is the conscious of Hoover and although he sometimes fails, he plays Hoover’s partner in life very well. The cast is rounded out with Judi Dench as the mother of Hoover. She is subtle, a sounding board for Hoover.

I will warn the audience to be mentally prepared for the liberties taken on Hoover’s personal life. They show a very close relationship between Hoover and his #2 Clyde Tolson. I don’t think Robert’s dad was mentally prepared and thus is detracted from the film for him. I didn’t mind, but I was surprised.


~ by xine23 on November 20, 2011.

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