Of the many aspects of the movie that one cannot help but marvel at, one of the most imperative is the fact that the movie makes thorough use every bit of time that the characters spend on screen. From the narration given by the narrator to the moments when a new character is introduced, the movie makes successful attempts to hold the audience’s attention and to bring forth a continuously evolving and dramatic effect.
The plot is one that gradually ascends as event after event unfolds. Each character contributes to the development of the plot and it is not until it actually happens that the audience finds it obvious that the paths of the three prime law enforcers should cross (Hanson and Helgeland). Even though each character makes a choice based on the character’s specific style of law enforcement and perception of justice, the desire to enforce justice brings the three prime characters more closely than they would give events credit for.
The plot fundamentally takes its accelerated turn when a murder occurs at the Nite Owl Cafe. The homicide is of six men out of which one was an LAPD cop. Captain Dudley Smith actively chooses to take on the case. During the same time, Bud White stumbles onto a wealthy flesh peddler who operates by acquiring cheap prostitutes and making them go through plastic surgery in order to make them resemble movie stars. White becomes obsessed with one of the flesh monger’s prostitutes and through her acquires further information (Hanson and Helgeland). During the investigations performed as a result of the Nite Owl Massacre, one of the three characters, Vincennes, finds out that LAPD Captain Dudley Smith is responsible for many of the corruptions that plague LAPD. Vincennes loses his life following the discovery of this fact and as a result of the extensive collateral damage caused by the Nite Owl Massacre investigation, arch-enemies Exley and White agree to work together to track down and take down the source of all evil in L.A.
The costumes in the movie were carefully designed to reflect the time when the 1950s were in full swing and when the men used to prefer suits to casual wear. It was a time when the streets would become free of families and children at night and the corrupt elements of society used to come out on the streets to race their cars and to drink (Hanson and Helgeland). The movie brings forth the tendency of men to incorporate class and refinement regardless of their position in society. The battle against good and evil was at its highest. It was a time when law and order was actively challenging corruption and was establishing deep roots in the country.
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