Culture Street

Film review: Dick Tracy

On March 18, 2013

By Joseph Rana

There are movies that try the alternate route, come up with a complicated storyline, and under the garb of special effects, make-up teams, stunt directors, and famous names, try to pull off a concept and script that should grace the internal lining of a rubbish bin. Dick Tracy, however, is NOT that kind of a movie.

One may call it alternate, different, visionary, crazy and even perhaps weird; it may be all that, and more, but it is definitely a cinematic experience worth every penny in its own right. Its ‘weirdness’ sets Dick Tracy apart from the other mainstream movies, giving it a clear point of difference.

Based on the comic-strip of the same name by Chester Gould, Dick Tracy is what its DVD cover aptly calls it to be: “a dazzling mix of action, adventure, music and incredible special effects” that ruled the cinemas in 1990, and took home three Academy Awards, for Best Art Director, Best Make-Up, and Best Song.

Dick Tracy, played by Warren Beatty, is a local detective adamant on removing the organised crime network from his town at any cost. He faces a challenge at the hands of the ruthless gangster and main antagonist Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice (Al Pacino), and other crime syndicate members.

The unlikely duo, Breathless Mahoney (Madonna), the mysteriously sexy entertainer at a local joint called Club Ritz, and poor hungry orphan, The Kid (Charlie Korsmo), help bust the crime syndicate.

Vivid, imaginative scenes; a fast paced plot; a cunningly smart script; and outstanding actors including Glenne Headly, Dustin Hoffman, and Charles Durning make this film one to put on your list for a rainy day.

Warren Betty (producer, director and the lead actor) depicts his character role with his usual charisma, Madonna is type cast as the golden haired diva and Al Pacino adds his remarkably precise style of acting to the line up.

Dick Tracy is based in an artificial world, and away from concepts of reality. While it can be entertaining for some, it may actually seem childlike and churlish to others. Audiences who prefer their cinema to be accurate, factual, based on true stories, and want to see a sense of realism, should probably avoid Dick Tracy.

This one is strictly for people who want to escape the real world, and enter this world fuelled by imagination, and run by psychotic yet lovable characters!


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