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The Town - A classical thriller

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Film: The Town (English)

Cast: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm

Director: Ben Affleck

Rating: 3.5/5

Good news - Ben Affleck makes for a fine director.

Bad news - He still cannot act.

The Town is a well-paced, enthralling story of a bunch of four loonies including Doug (Ben Affleck) and Jem (Jeremy Renner), who have no qualms making big money off a series of violent bank robberies in Charlestown. Did I say, well-paced? That depends very much on how you classify good pace. It's not as scintillatingly beautiful as The Departed, but it ain't slow or stupid like Badmaash Company either (sorry for that lame comparison).

The going is good for the gang, until Doug (sort of predictably) falls for a bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) whom they had taken hostage during one of their heists. He tries, not once but often, to weasel out of the maze of crimes he has landed himself in so that he can look forward to a regular civil life. But his wizened old boss Fergie - a florist cum local goon - will hear none of it and threatens him with dire consequences if he ever considered quitting this one-way street. The gang is followed closely by FBI Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), until the plot congregates into a fine thriller of a climax.

The character sketches in the film are vivid, but never over the top. You don' t see those quirky, crooked grins but you sense their evil. You feel for Doug when he is stranded in the grey patch between moral redemption and his obligations to an old friend. There are, some weak links too - such as Claire's character - her pressing need to reveal sensitive FBI information to a stranger she has just run into at a laundromat. But in the larger scheme of a brilliant narrative, you can forgive the lapses.

You can also forgive Ben Affleck for casting himself in the lead. I'd personally prefer he sits out in the director's chair henceforth, though. The winner of the movie is, undoubtedly Jeremy Renner who effortlessly portrays the conniving, cold-blooded gangster with much elan.

The Town keeps you at the edge of your seat, although it may not qualify in the top ten thrillers you may have come across.

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