DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Ciarán Hinds, Brenda Fricker, Don Wycherley, Barry Barnes, Simon O’Driscoll
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Buy on Amazon.com
Veronica Guerin is based on a true story but I don’t remember hearing or seeing anything about this until the movie came out. I didn’t get a chance to see this film in theaters but I wanted to check it out on DVD. I guess what was holding me back was I knew what happened.
The story of Veronica Guerin is set in the 1990’s and is about an Irish journalist Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) and her fight against the drug lords of Ireland. Veronica risks everything by finding out who’s behind all the drug trafficking and trying to expose them in the newspaper she works for. Veronica knows someone in the inside that she gets information from but she doesn’t know if she should trust him or not. She starts to go on the right trail and finds the right people that she’s after. She starts to get endless amounts of death threats and her family tells her to stop covering this story but she doesn’t get scared from “bullies.” She keeps pressing on and has a lot of guts, but that might end in bad consequences for her and her family. Veronica Guerin becomes a national folk heroine of Ireland and also receives an award for her life-threating work in journalism.
I found the story to be very moving and I wouldn’t necessarily say I enjoyed watching this movie but I thought the film was made very well. Though I do have one complaint and that’s Joel Schumacher shouldn’t have spoiled the end right at the beginning of the movie. Their are scenes leaning up to the finale in the very beginning but you get a sense of what’s gonna happen. I guess the filmmakers figured people knew the story well enough that they could do this. I knew what was gonna happen going into this so I was fine with it. I thought Cate Blanchett did a great job playing the title role and I can’t think of anyone else who might have been good as Veronica. Gerard McSorley (John Gilligan) played a great villain but I don’t think he got enough screen time, and they could have made him into a bigger scumbag than he already was. Don’t get me wrong, he was a prick though. The actor was in Braveheart as one of the English generals who gets beheaded by William Wallace. Ciarán Hinds has been in a lot of movies of late and I didn’t know he was Irish until now. He’s always doing a different accent in each movie he does but he played John Traynor well. Colin Farrell had a quick cameo in the movie and it was pretty much pointless in my opinion. He does speak Irish though haha. One thing I wouldn’t agree with was the way Veronica Guerin didn’t back down after certain things happened to her. As soon as my family gets threatened, I would have moved or done something to not have that happen in anyway. But she definitely had balls and a ton of courage to press on like the way she did. I didn’t really think it was fair to her family, but she did make Ireland safer with less drugs being sold in certain towns. I’m sure it’s still pretty bad but trafficking is probably down.
I kind of felt disturbed watching some of the little kids touching and playing with drug needles; but that’s what happens when drug dealers take over ghettos and projects. That’s what Joel Schumacher even said in the audio commentary, it was like an endless amounts of dirty needles on the floors of the project buildings where the drug users did their crap, and it sounds like stepping on cockroaches. He said he was heavily into drugs in the 60s & 70s so he knew how things were. I thought the “Naas Road” scene was very sad and depressing to watch. Seeing everybody stand around the car, just staring. Hearing the young kid Brian O’ Connell sing the song “Fields Of Athenry” over that scene almost made me cry. It was very haunting to hear. What drove me over the edge though was hearing Sinead O Connor’s song “One More Day” during the epilogue. It was just sad, and that’s what it’s supposed to make you feel. Unless you don’t have a heart and have no emotions. Harry Gregson- Williams score fit the movie perfectly, giving it that Celtic feel. The last couple of scores he has done, I haven’t really dug, but the score for VG was good.
There’s some decent extras on the DVD. There’s 2 full length commentaries and throughout the movie, I was switching over to hear what Joel Schumacher had to say. He talked about getting to know Veronica Guerin’s Mother very well, stories about the real Veronica Guerin, drug stuff, and other things. The other commentary track is with Writers Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue but I didn’t listen to that one. There’s a deleted scene where Veronica Guerin speaks at the CPJ awards show with other journalists, news reporters, etc. and it sounded pretty much the same as the real footage you get to also see on the DVD. “Public Mask, Private Fears” is a behind the scenes look at the movie and there’s interviews with Bruckheimer, Schumacher, Blanchett and other cast members. That extra was informative and I also liked the Producer’s Photo Gallery With Jerry Bruckheimer. Bruckheimer takes pictures on the set of every movie he produces and then likes to talk about the photos. We saw the same thing with the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD. I actually think he taken some awesome documentary-looking photos. That about sums up the Extras for the Veronica Guerin DVD. The behind the scenes feature could have been a little bit longer but the disc contains just enough to satisfy the DVD collector. Though I’m not sure if people will be running out to buy this film, unless you like dark, depressing movies. If you do, then definitely watch this because I thought the movie was good.
– Deleted Scene
– Veronica Guerin Speaks At The Committee to Protect Journalists
– The Real Veronica Guerin Speaks at the Committee To Protect Journalists
– “Public Mask, Private Fears” Making of the Movie
– A Conversation With Producer Jerry Bruckheimer
– Producer’s Photo Gallery With Jerry Bruckheimer
– Audio Commentary with Director Joel Schumacher
– Audio Commentary with Writers Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
ENGLISH: DTS 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: “Pressing the I’vestigation” “Epilogue”
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 0 minutes