Journalist’s Legacy Proves Power of Print

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">JUDITH GHOUGASSIAN
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Why would anyone want to kill Veronica Guerin? At a time when the streets of Ireland were filled with drugs, violence and dirty scandals, an Irish journalist named Veronica Guerin decided to take a stand for what she believed. Cate Blanchett stars in the movie “Veronica Guerin,” the true-life portrayal of the strength and determination of a journalist who risked her life for the well-being of Ireland.

Blanchett starred in the critically acclaimed film “Elizabeth,” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” plays a similar role in “Veronica Guerin.”

She seems to take on the characters of influential women, as one can tell by her performance.

In “Elizabeth,” she played the role of Queen Elizabeth, and in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” she portrayed an elf queen of power and wisdom. In both movies, her characters had strong personalities, and in “Veronica Guerin,” Blanchett repeats those strengths as she takes on the role of Veronica Guerin in a mature manner.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, who has also directed such movies as “Phone Booth” and “Batman and Robin;” Veronica Guerin had a similar edge. The movie is filled with many suspenseful scenes, which show a common trait in most of Schumacher’s movies. However, “Veronica Guerin” is not an action packed movie, thus making the directing different from Schumacher’s film, “Phone Booth.”

Schumacher begins the story of “Veronica Guerin” in the present, gluing the audience to their seats as masked men on a motorcycle pull up next to Guerin’s car and shatter her window. Within seconds, the movie makes its way into the past, beginning with the events leading to Guerin’s experiences and then to her death.

Guerin, a writer for the Sunday Independent, decides to begin writing about the drug scene in Dublin in the ’90s. Her connections with local drug dealer John Trainer played by Ciaran Hinds, allows her to write her investigative stories with depth.

Appalled by the pervasive drug use among young children in the community, Guerin uses her connections with Trainer, to help familiarize herself with a few of the local drug lords.

As Guerin digs deeper, she makes her name known among many of the drug dealers in the community. John Gilligan, played by Gerard McSorley is a well-known name in the drug trade and learns about Guerin’s whereabouts and her connection with Trainer.

This is where the movie reaches its highest peak because soon after, Guerin begins to receive threats. A mysterious gunman shoots her home, opening the door to further attacks. This leads the movie in a suspenseful direction.

She is a determined journalist who will not allow anyone or anything to come in the way of her reporting. “I don’t want to do it,” she says. “I have to do it.”

Using her stubborn journalistic abilities, Guerin drives to Gilligan’s home to question him. This incident eventually leads to Guerin’s death. After her death, the community gains many positive attributes.

This dramatic movie leaves the audience in constant suspense. In addition, the influence of the background music was very strong.

There were portions where the background music prepared the audience for a tragic scene. The influence was very Celtic, and suited the majority of the film very well. During Guerin’s death however, the music had a peculiar tone to it.

Despite this, it did not fail to create a sad image in the minds of the audience. For the most part, the movie was very well done and had several high points. The fact that this movie was based on the actual life of a journalist gave the story line a deeper meaning.

Blanchett brings Guerin’s story to life in her oscar-worthy portrayal of Guerin, thus making this heartfelt and true-life experience an influential and must see movie for all.

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