MOVIE REVIEW: The Black Dahlia 2006
Based on the James Ellroy book of the same title, the film is a fictional retelling of the events surrounding the infamous Black Dahlia murder case. A young woman named Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner) is found murdered and dissected below the waist in a field. Policemen Dwight "Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Leland "Lee" Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) are assigned to the case. They become partners and best buddies, making it a threesome with Lee's girl Kay Lake (Scarlett Johansson). While gathering information about Ms. Short, they discover her life was not so picture-perfect. Apparently she ran in unsavory circles...prostitution, stag films, and *gasp* lesbianism. Lee becomes obsessed with the case and neglects his job, new friend Bucky and his girl Kaye. It is up to Bucky to take the reins to find the killer and keep Kaye company in the meanwhile. No more spoilers from me y'all.
Let me start by saying that I've been fascinated by the Black Dahlia case since my teen years. When it was announced that a big-screen version of this film was being made, I jumped for joy. When they announced Brian De Palma was directing, I damn near peed myself...I am a HUGE De Palma fan. But alas, this was one big ass letdown. What a mess! It had all the trappings of a great film but the pieces did not quite fit. There were so many plots going on that it made me forget what the film was originally about. By the end of the film, I no longer cared who killed Elizabeth Short. In my brief description I did not include the other plots because there was just too much going on to describe. The cinematography was breathtaking...they did a really good job of capturing 1940's California. The costuming was beautiful and believable. The best performances of the film were Mia Kirshner as Elizabeth Short and Fiona Shaw as Ramona Linscott. I wish people would stop casting Josh Hartnett in serious roles, he reminds me of a grown-up Alfalfa from the Lil Rascals. Scarlett Johansson was beautiful to look at but did not have much to offer as far as acting goes. I believe this film will become a cult classic in a couple of years...I found myself laughing at the absurdity of it all. Mr. De Palma, please go back into the studio and redeem your good name, because this film was pure crapola!
VERDICT: 1 Soul Clap
Labels: Movie Reviews