Polanski’s Chinatown is a classic of 1970’s cinema, as it tells a tale of murder, due to greed and the political issue of the drought in California. Jack Nicholson, who superbly plays the character of Jack Gittes, is a detective who investigates matters considering adultery. A woman by the name of Evelyn Mulwray insists that her husband is having an affair, asking for Mr. Gittes to find out the truth, although it is not until later on when the photos of Mr. Gittes and a lady have been released into the media that he realises the lady was an imposter.
Evelyn Mulwray who is played by the renowned, Faye Dunaway, plays a character that is mentally unstable, although portrays herself as being strong and powerful. Jack Gittes becomes infatuated with the mystery of the murder and the water project, in which he begins to see holes in the lies being fed to him as he searches for answers. As he and widowed Evelyn grow closer, so does the truth and a resolution. Through this Polanski keeps his viewers on their seats, as they watch this thriller, as they along with Jack Gittes try to piece together the truth.
Polanski portrays the aura of the era with sophistication, weaving music and a great choice of settings to give the viewer a feel of the time and culture. The clothing, the cars, the constant habit of smoking gives a picture of Los Angeles, California in the 1940’s and how it has evidently changed to today’s culture and society. Throughout the movie the viewer is able to grasp numerous issues that are still apparent today, particularly corruption and greed and the way in which people’s decisions are influenced by them.
The role and status of women is pointed at throughout the film, with Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray acting as a figure of feminism, in freely having affairs and taking the reins when it was required of her. Her turning point in the film shows her strength as a woman, even though being raped by your own father would be mentally disturbing in every nature. In this scene the viewer is represented with the ideas of cunning men in a patriarchal society and how this was abused. Noah Cross: Katherine! I, I’m your grandfather, my dear. I’m your grandfather.
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