Every once in a while a movie comes around that is just solid. It’s well written, well acted, and well directed, having intensity, intelligence, and just the right amount of heart. This is what I found with Ben Affleck’s new movie The Town. Affleck not only stars in the movie, he also directs and has a hand in the adapted screenplay, which is based off the book Prince of Thieves. The story tells of a street smart and savvy band of bank robbers from a notoriously tough neighborhood of Boston. Affleck plays Doug MacRay, the leader and mastermind of the sophisticated robberies. Jeremy Renner plays Jem, his volatile and dangerous partner who is the closest thing he has ever had to family. Jon Hamm, of Mad Men fame, plays the FBI agent putting the heat on our protagonist. Finally, Rebecca Hall plays Clair, the love interest of Doug. The meat of the story is in the love triangle between Doug, Jem and Clair. Clair is actually a hostage that the group took during one of their robberies. When Doug follows up on her to make sure she doesn’t know anything about them, he finds himself falling in love with her. He is a damaged soul, having grown up with an incarcerated father and a mother who abandoned him. Clair’s love is like a balm to his soul. Jem, however, is the brother he never had. On the streets of Boston’s most dangerous neighborhoods, loyalty is everything. Doug’s relationship with Clair threatens this loyalty, as she could potentially lead to the group’s downfall. As the plot advances, Doug finds himself in a position where his hands are tied. He wants to turn his back on his past and move forward, but he is obligated and bound to his partners in crime. Affleck does an amazing job with the material of this film. His acting is quiet but has impact. He is a strong, yet flawed hero. His hurt and vulnerability come through even though his character is incredibly guarded. His directing also is effective. The movie is taut and tense from beginning to end. Here is a bank robber who, by giving his love to Clair, puts her in not only in physical danger but also in a precarious position legally. Yet you are cheering for their happy ending. The happy ending could be for Affleck during awards season.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.