The 412th Film I have seen in theaters…
Hits strangely close to home
Southie gangster Jimmy Bulger uses a childhood association with John Connolly, now FBI agent Connolly, to become an “informant” and help take out his Italian competition. Along the way, he actually uses the Boston FBI towards his own ends and becomes the strongest mobster in Boston.
Johnn Depp plays Bulger, oddly, as a lizard. It was a masterful performance though. He managed to transform into something entirely different, something that we should be used to from Depp at this point, but it was truly chilling. One of his best performances.
Who’d have thought that Joel Edgerton would be the break out star of the Star Wars prequels. (He played Uncle Owen in episode 2 and 3). He plays John Connolly, FBI agent in this film.
Strangely, Benedict Cumberbatch appears as William Bulger, prominent State politician and brother to Jimmy. Oddly cast.
Kevin Bacon appears as FBI boss McGuire, who okays the Bulger informant program.
Jesse Plemons undergoes a radical transformation to become Kevin Weeks, one of the members of the Winter Hill gang.
One of the more interesting performances comes from Rory Cochrane who plays Steve “The Rifleman” Flemmi. Good actor. He conveys a lot without speaking.
This was a weird one for me. Growing up in Mass, I was aware of Bulger, and was a teenager when he went on the run. This story dominated the news here, and I followed the story avidly. I never thought he’d be caught, but I guess all stories have to have an ending. I know many people who knew Bulger, and his brother. Some of them hate “Whitey” with a passion, others venerate the man to this day. An acquaintance’s father was even involved in the Winter Hill Gang, and was in hiding for a stretch when Bulger supposedly wanted him dead for snitching.
All in all, this just struck a little too close to home for me. In the end, it was a decent film, with a truly stellar cast. Worth seeing.