Gone Baby Gone

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SEVEN DAYS -

Wed­nes­day, 9.35pm, RTÉ One

No one was more sur­prised than the crit­ics when Ben Af­fleck’s (be­low) di­rec­to­rial de­but turned out to be so good, given his act­ing tal­ents had proved so hit (Good Will Hunt­ing) and miss (Pearl Har­bor). It stars his younger brother, Casey (above), and the Af­flecks find their strengths in this adap­ta­tion of the novel by Den­nis Le­hane.

Casey stars as pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Pa­trick Ken­zie who, with his girl­friend and part­ner, An­gela Gen­naro (Michelle Mon­aghan), are called in by the aunt and un­cle of a miss­ing four-year-old girl whose mother walks a fine line be­tween her ma­ter­nal in­stincts and her need for al­co­hol and co­caine. Pa­trick is from the neigh­bour­hood, a poor Ir­ish-amer­i­can com­mu­nity in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, and the rel­a­tives want him to talk to the lo­cals who won’t talk to the po­lice.

It’s a film of two halves, with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion track­ing Pa­trick’s re­la­tion­ship with both sides of the law - criminals and cops. He and Angie face a se­ries of painful de­ci­sions through­out the film, and it is a dif­fi­cult and chal­leng­ing ride to the truth. As they dig and dig, not al­ways lik­ing what they find, both – es­pe­cially Pa­trick – must work hard to main­tain their moral in­tegrity.

As with all films deal­ing with crimes against chil­dren, it will not be suit­able for all view­ers (and there is plenty of gritty lan­guage, too). Above all, though, Af­fleck’s film asks the au­di­ence to make a decision on right or wrong, which is not as black and white as it should be. A brave move, and the mark of a good – po­ten­tially, great – film-maker.

The story be­hind the film

Gone Baby Gone is one of three film adap­ta­tions of books by best­selling au­thor Den­nis Le­hane, re­leased in be­tween Mys­tic River (2003) and Shut­ter Is­land (2010). It is the fourth novel fea­tur­ing pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors Ken­zie and Gen­naro. Ben Af­fleck, mean­while, was to prove that Gone Baby Gone was no fluke, di­rect­ing and star­ring in an­other crit­i­cally ac­claimed crime film, The Town, re­leased in 2010.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.