Analysis Of Chinatown - Critical Essay

988 words - 4 pages

Eng. 201-CRN 21349

The world is big, and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark, quote stated by
John Muir. The majority of the population on this planet perceives things the way they want to see them.
They decide to shift their focus from dreadful things to more auspicious things. In the
revolutionized neo-noir film Chinatown (1974) produced by Roman Polanski, he displayed the most atrocious parts of human nature with an imposing and tactically written script. Looking back at the quote, comparing that to Polanskis film, it shows that the world is already dark but is all about how you perceive it. Throughout the film, Polanski shows the
many different sides of injustice, criminality, and manipulation.

The use of various thematic devices was evident throughout the Chinatown film. The
presence of crime and violence was seen by many of the characters in the film. However,
the majority of the crimes were committed by Noah Cross. He was one of the most powerful men in Los
Angeles and was also the head of the City's Water Department. Some of his crimes include the
raping of his daughter Evelyn and the murder of Hollis Mulwray. Cross's idea of patriarchal
hierarchy was prevalent since he is white collar and ranks high on the systems. Most importantly, since he was a man, it allowed him to possess personal dominance over
women and his children. He murdered Hollis Mulwray, the husband of Evelyn because he
was opposing some of his construction ideas even though they were business partners; along
with that, he was the first one to disinter Cross's corruption and fraud, and lastly, because both
Evelyn and Mulwray were trying to keep Katherine away from him. The other crime was when
Noah stole everyone's water supply for his benefit and pleasure.

In the film, Jake Gittes was chosen to play an anti-hero protagonist who is a good
person but makes questionable decisions. Gittes portrays a polite and humorous personality, along with being a tough detective. But what shows that he is an anti-hero protagonist is when he
has all the correct information to solve cases. Still, he puts the evidence or clues incorrectly, which
causes him and the others to support him for failure. The first mistake he made was when he
mistakes Ida Sessions for Evelyn; this creates a slight conflict when he begins following Hollis
around. Then when Evelyn is telling that Katherine is her daughter and sister, he doesn't
understand the fact that Katherine was the result of the rape done by Noah.

The inversions of traditional values and the corresponding of moral ambivalence is
depicted by Noah Cross. Polanski made his character the most morally ambivalent. Cross, like
stated before he is a white collar and is already ranked high on the system. But asides from that
he does get a lot of respect from many of his fel...

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