What does it take to take on the mega corporations of the world? The answer can vary in many ways, but often it takes a will power for some unknown to try and change the system. Tonight’s movie is a shining example of that character, one that to this continues to fight against the travesties of the big corporations that seem to run our country. Such a movie may be cliché by now, but as always I’m here to go over the usual factors and give my opinion on yet another movie. So with that, let’s get cracking as we review:
Dark Waters (2019)
- Travel Through Timeline
- Good Details Of the Case
- The portrayal of the Mind
- Focus On Other members Of The case
- The Drama On One Level
- The Acting
- Animal Killing
- The Dramatization On Other Point
- More Behind the scenes of Dupont for completion sakes
- Elements introduced that were Not Utilized
- More Anne Hathaway
A biographical drama always faces the challenge with me of being complete and staying entertaining and Dark Waters delivers this for me. The pacing for the movie works at just the right speed to hit the details without making me feel bored. Much of this has to do with the presentation of the movie, a nice travel through the 15 years of case busting that Robert Bilott partook in the late 90s to early 2010s. One will be subjected to multiple facets of the case, getting to see his discovery of each level of corruption in his pursuit of justice against the companies they once represented. While this may not be the Law and Order intensity television has established, the case has enough believable details with a balance to the drama to help make this important case as thrilling as possible. That movie magic spices up the fact-finding mission, making sure to integrate other parts of the case such as the farmer who started the investigation, neighbors who started gaining confidence to stand up, and even the law firms that Robert worked for. Such layered approaches help immerse you into the whole event, rather than selected facets that sometime these movies take in their telling. An even deeper level though, is seeing the effects of the mind such a stressful case brings with it. Roberts descent into bringing justice was certainly admirable, but the impact on his personal life, career, and mental health were well-integrated into the mix, helping amplify the internal mind of the worker, and adding to the obstacles of the case. Yet, most of these aspects are brought to the forefront thanks to the acting of the cast. Much of this weighs on the producer and lead actor Mark Ruffalo who gets most of the screen time, has to handle the multitude of emotions and physical acting required of this franchise, and finding a way to really keep it believable. Hathaway as well gets her role down pat as the supporting character who has to make sacrifices of her own, keeping the family running while Robert becomes engrossed in all the literature. Her skills as the stressed character being pulled to the brim between justice and survival is again super balanced, and again adds extra impact to fulfill the story. Others get their roles down, but I need to move on to the next part of the review so we’ll do just that.
Despite as much of the movie I liked, there were still some things that were not quite my cup of tea. For one thing, animal killing is one of my weakness when it comes to movie. While not the worst or saddest thing I’ve seen, there was a scene trying to emphasize the problems with the water that hit me a little more than I wanted. I would have liked this scene filtered a little more, but hey you got to have a dramatic flair to liven things up. That brings me to the next limitation for me, the potential overdramatization to which Hollywood can sometimes inject. To help add splendor you’ve got to put some extra emotion to the mix, but there are times where the dramatic moments are a little too obvious or forced for me. These cheesy moments sort of took away from the splendor of the moment, but it could also just be my tolerance level is low for these things. Anyway, the other thing for me is the movie’s incomplete focus of all aspects of the cases as my main limitation. For one thing, the ruthless Dupont organization gets a good intro to the madness, but much of their interference is behind the scenes through dialogue instead of on camera where one could get the ugly side to come out in full force. Perhaps it’s because their part can only be speculated, but this might have been the better place to introduce the drama feature of Hollywood. Other areas that seemed a little lacking were other people being introduced, but then sort of dropped into the wings of obscurity. A random colleague striving for partnership, another about being pregnant, the grandmother and this supposed tension of his mom with his wife, were some elements alliterated in the dialogue, only to die off like the cattle in the trailers. It’s a shame, because this could have further enhanced the development, but I guess books will provide those details. Finally, more of Hathaway’s character was needed for me, especially given the integral cog she played in him getting the case taken care of, while also keeping the home life in order. I’d have liked to get more of her perspective and allow Hathaway’s talents to shine even more so even if it cost another ten minutes of viewing.
Overall, Dark Waters delivered the story I had been wanting to see in the form of a biographical drama. A thrilling case that took years to build is given great detail to help explain everything happening, while also moving to keep you engaged. The acting and multiple aspects really do the film justice and give everyone the chance to act to their top game. It’s true it still is subjected to overdramatization at times, but it’s kept in check to keep things spicy and appeal to the drama seeking nature that is humanity. I’d have liked a few more elements added to give a better visualization of the corrupt companies, while also giving Anne Hathaway more time to shine, but overall I’m very happy with this. I feel this film will go under the radar, and to be honest, only the engaging story and acting will attract a theater watch for most. However, if you are able to catch this at home or Redbox take the 2 hours to uncover the revolutionizing story that is still going on today.
My scores are:
Biography/Drama/History: 8.0 – 8.5
Movie Overall: 7.0