Thursday, 26 September 2013

On Crime Drama

There's a quote from the review of a bad film over on Pajiba about crime dramas which I've been thinking about today. Especially, how it relates to Breaking Bad.

"In a weird way, a lot of crime drama is aspirational: even as we rest in the knowledge that the criminals will have to pay for what they’ve done, we also know we’re being invited to participate in a voyeurism where we can imagine ourselves rich and wild, at least for the first two acts. There’s a humming thread of desire, of vicarious triumph, running through most crime stories, whether they’re lighthearted (Ocean’s 11) or gruesome (Scorsese). Just imagine what you could do with all this money or power, the film seems to say. It’s a tease, and it works, because it lets us fantasize on a subconscious level without abandoning our moral compass. Some crimes stories, though, are just the opposite: they never make those ill-gotten gains look like anything but a burden to be dealt with. Instead of asking “What would you do with all this?” they say “How would you deal with this?” It’s not that either type of film is saying crime pays; it’s that the former lets you flirt with the idea that it might, while the latter never lets you forget that nobody gets out alive." (A Single Shot Review)

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