Monday, May 14, 2012

Movie Review: J. Edgar - Information Is Power

Right and wrong are of little importance to John Edgar Hoover. Privacy, freedom and honesty come third to catching the criminals and preserving J. Edgar’s and the bureau’s reputation.
J. Edgar (2011), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of the first director of the FBI, and one of the most powerful men of the United States, John Edgar Hoover. We witness J. Edgar’s life as told by him while he is having his memoires written down. He starts out as a socially awkward but ambitions young man with a desire, almost an obsession, for order and classification. Through innovative changes in crime investigation, such as the classification and recognition through fingerprints, he quickly rises as the head of a powerful organization, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI. J. Edgar is efficient and very strict; however he has a questionable moral code. This makes him an interesting but challenging character to play and Leonardo DiCaprio did a great job. We all know DiCaprio has the skills to pull off any role, and once again he has proven this, playing the head of the FBI from his early twenties to his death, with the help of some aging technology.

Although the movie is supposed to be biographical, keep a critical mind when watching it. J. Edgar is mostly how we would imagine the head of the FBI to be, smart, organized and with a love for schemes. However the take on his personal life is pretty subjective. For instance, there is no real evidence of the sexual interest of John Edgar, but Clint Eastwood decided to depict him as a homosexual nonetheless. Now in this day and age sexual preference doesn’t really matter anymore, people love who they love. But in the 20th century, discrimination was a much bigger issue, and I doubt one of the most powerful men in United States would ever admit to being gay. Some scenes even make us feel like Eastwood was mocking J. Edgar. I won’t tell you exactly which ones because that would spoil it for those of you who haven’t yet seen the movie. Just remember, a movie is still a movie, it’s not an exact representation of his life.

That being said, it is a pretty interesting movie. J. Edgar is not really fantastic, but it’s worth watching nonetheless.

Leave me a comment with your thoughts on the review, or on the movie itself. I’d love to hear what you guys have to say. If you have any movies you want me to review, send me an e-mail at:

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