Thursday, August 23, 2012

J. Edgar directed by Clint Eastwood

I've never known much about J. Edgar Hoover, formidable enemy of criminals everywhere, except that he seemed to be shrouded in mystery and considered  strange and even menacing by many of his contemporaries. I decided to explore Clint Eastwood's take on him, hoping to pick up a few tidbits, and I was enthralled! It was intriguing, and even a little frightening, to see how such a peculiar, quirky individual ended up as the backbone of the FBI.

Leonardo DiCaprio gives a top notch performance as Edgar, a handsome, brilliant, and excruciatingly "correct" young man who lives with his overpowering mother and works for the Justice Department. We watch Edgar's rise to a position of power in the government, and his transition to the use of unorthodox tactics to achieve what he believes to be best for the safety of the nation, not to mention his own advancement. I realize that a movie can only reveal the tip of the iceberg when trying to portray the life of a man as complex as J. Edgar, but I witnessed enough to whet my appetite for more. His dedication to public service, his tendency to manipulate people to his advantage, his confidential files on government officials, and his alleged secret homosexual life are all touched upon in this exciting portrait.

The lesson I learned is that sometimes paranoia serves us well. Because of Hoover's distrust of anyone and everyone, and his agressive push to modernize the FBI's methods, we are now fortunate enough to have one of the world's top notch crime-solving agencies. This movie made me think about conspiracy theories in general, and reminded me of the film JFK. Could J. Edgar Hoover possibly have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Read Act of Treason by Mark North and find out.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I’ve heard mixed reviews on J. Edgar, but there is one thing I hear that remains consistent and that’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance. I was never a fan of Titanic, but after I watched him in Inception, I’ve realized that I missed out on a tremendous actor over the years. I’ve added J. Edgar to my Blockbuster @Home queue, and since they send discs out so quickly I’ll soon get to see what everyone has been talking about in this film. I thought that one of my co-workers at Dish was lying when he told me that the real Hoover was a cross dresser, but after reading your note about his homosexual life, I’m intrigued. I love the excitement of a conspiracy theory every now and then, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what this man did to become a historic icon.