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Compare and Contrast: Chinatown and The Usual Suspects - Essay Example

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Name 11 January 2012 Assignment Neo noir films have become quite popular in Hollywood; they are essentially films that make prominent use of elements such as the content, theme, style, as well as visual media. Two movies that are some of the greatest neo noir films of all time are The Usual Suspects and Chinatown…
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Compare and Contrast: Chinatown and The Usual Suspects
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Download file to see previous pages (AMC Blog) They reek of mystery and excitement while retaining originality in the dialogues and setting. This paper helps to provide an insight into the various similarities as well as differences that the two films share with each other. The Usual Suspects is a con film about a robbery of jewels set to take place under the watchful eyes of five master thieves. They plan a heist that brings together some of the most corrupt officials in New York City and finally win all the jewels. Roger Kint, one of the characters, is brought into the mess and he accepts, and gets thrown into yet another bungle after the jewels are sold in Los Angeles. He survives a violent conflagration that then takes place on board a ship where everyone else dies and thus is made to tell an interrogator about the events that brought him there in the first place. The entire story is thus told with the help of a flashback, making the series of events very complex in nature. (Detective Novels) Chinatown on the other hand also consists of private investigators and officials and is also set mostly in Los Angeles. Thus the location is the same in both films; however, different parts of the city have been shown. This film has been inspired by the renowned Water Dispute that took place in California during the 1910s and 1920s in order to secure water rights over Owens Valley. (Sydney Morning Herald) The film is mainly a thriller about how large amounts of water are being taken away by the reservoir in the city every night, and one night, when the investigator finds a dead body, a conflict arises amongst the water department security and the investigator. This film consists of 131 minutes of pure action as Jake Gittes (the investigator) travels various cities in order to figure out the murder mysteries being caused because of different bodies of water. Both films have characters based on events that took place in real life; for example The Usual Suspects has a character called Soze who is based on John List, an accountant from New Jersey who was murdered and then disappeared. Chinatown has characters called Hollis and Noah who are references for the chief engineer for the LA department of water and power. Chinatown even has a sequel called The Two Jakes which has a similar story line regarding oil, minerals and other such forest resources being manipulated by the municipal departments. The film was originally set to be called Gittes v. Gittes where it would have instead talked about the infinite resource land. The Usual Suspects took lesser time to shoot than Chinatown; it was shot within 35 days and a great amount of work went into off camera time where the director spent a great amount of time improvising on the dialogues for the police line up scene. Chinatown also helped to spread a social message whereas the other film did not have such a great impact on the audience. This is because after watching Chinatown the audience became more aware regarding land dealings as well as disputes over water rights and thus became a hit amongst even the legal and business sections of society, whereas The Usual Suspects interested mostly young men who wanted to watch good action, dialogues as well as an excellent plot. It also has an ensemble plot which has made it even more notable. As opposed to Chinatown, it has a narrator narrating out the various events that took ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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