‘J. Edgar’ frustrates with slow plot

Contributing Writer
[email protected]

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

High hopes and Leonardo DiCaprio made “J. Edgar” seem like a sure thing. But by the end, the film felt more like a textbook than a blockbuster.

The film was directed by Clint Eastwood and with his smooth progression from actor to director, coupled with DiCaprio’s A-List status, his film looked to be a no doubter.

In the early onset of the film, a grey tone and realistic style of filmmaking enhanced DiCaprio’s narration of J.Edgar Hoover’s early years and his rise through the ranks of the FBI.

Soon, however, the act became tired, as the film failed to back up its timeline with any sort of action or deep analysis of the true influence that J.Edgar Hoover had in law enforcement. Apart from the frustratingly slow plot development, the filmmakers also failed to emphasize the intensity of the protagonist’s anxiety and fears. Whether the aim was subtlety, or whether they simply overlooked the need for more elaboration, the film fell short of doing DiCaprio’s portrayal justice.

I wouldn’t argue that the film was poorly acted or that it was cast ineffectively, but the end product left the viewer wanting more.

Instead of focusing on the mental strains that were placed on J.Edgar by his job, his closet homosexual tendencies, or his desire to be a revered, comic book-like figure in the eyes of the country, the film seemed to gloss over the most intriguing aspects of the narrative.

The film still could’ve have been worth watching if it had focused on J. Edgar’s crime fighting career, which was extensive and intriguing. However, because Eastwood straddled the fence between a biographical snapshot of Hoover’s internal struggle and the seemingly downplayed depiction of J. Edgar’s achievements as the head executive of the FBI, it failed to succeed in either.

Eastwood took what could have been an exhilarating glimpse at a conflicted public figure and mishandled it, ending up with one of the least engaging films I have seen in some time.

Take your money and go see “Immortals” instead.