The true story of Whitey Bulger and how he became one of the most notorious gangsters in America
Johnny Depp has played a lot of roles in his long career. He has been good characters and some seriously twisted ones. He has played a pirate, a misunderstood guy with scissors for his hands, a killer barber and lent his voice to a few animated films. But to my knowledge he has never played a role like this before. He brings this killer to life and helps tell this story in a way that is shocking and fascinating. Here is what this writer thought of this film coming to theaters this Friday.
The film takes audiences back to 1970s when life was very different. Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) began his life as a small time crook in South Boston. As he grew up and spent some time in jail he began to gain power in a number of different rackets. His brother Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) working in state government and was an up and coming senator. Whitey had a best friend he had met many years ago named John Connolly who worked for the FBI and they go way back to when they were kids. Whitey is a dangerous man who has a short temper and thinks he is above the law. John asked Whitey to be an FBI informant to help stop a local crime family. The tale that unfolds from here is one full of drugs, a lot of money and a huge amount of violence. Why does John trust Whitey so much? Will Whitey give them what they need to stop gang crime in South Boston? What is going to happen once this goal is achieved?
Johnny Depp shines as Whitey Bulger. All he needs to do to put fear in your heart is look at you with those piercing blue eyes and those yellow crooked teeth a certain way for viewers to know something bad is about to happen. Depp found a way to bring this monster to life that is powerful and frightening at the exact same time. It is not always easy to know who he will kill next or how far he will go to protect himself. This writer personally loved how he portrayed this multifaceted man and fans of Depp will want to see this film, it is one of his darker roles to date.
The rest of the cast is a well oiled machine that help keep the film going and prevent it from ever slowing down or getting tedious. The violence fits each time and not once came off as excessive. The soundtrack does a splendid job of bringing the era to life in a way that plants viewers into the 1970s. The costumes did a wonderful job of putting all of the cast in outfits that fit the era perfectly. But the best thing is how wardrobe and makeup brought Whitey to life. Depp looks a lot like Whitey and as the film progresses he develops into a truly awful man. Depp makes it hard to fell much sympathy for Whitey which is as it should be.
The film gets 8/10. It is a wonderful picture that tells the story of Whitey Bulger the way it needs to be told with honesty and not leaving anything out. There is a lot of violence therefore it is something not everyone will like and younger kids should steer clear of this film. But those who like movies that deal with the mafia or those who want a gritty history lesson will be lining up to see this movie.
If you enjoy crime films this is a film you must see. If you are a fan of Depp portraying a dark role you must got see this movie. The story is a powerful one and the director made a lot of good choices that should pay off dividends. Go and see it this weekend you will not regret it.
See the trailer below: