Chinatown and Evelyn Mulwray Essay

Submitted By George-Tannous
Words: 697
Pages: 3

Chinatown Film Analysis

Chinatown directed by Roman Polanski created in 1974 explores the dark and twisted world of a P.I just trying to do his job. Polanski tries to show that things and people are not what they seem most of the time. He does this in a numerous amount of ways, including a very talented cast consisting of Jack Nicholson as JJ “Jake” Gittes, Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Cross Mulwray, John Huston as Noah Cross, and Diane Ladd as Ida Sessions. Chinatown is follows JJ as what he thinks is a simple marital dispute between two lovers turns into a covered up murder by corrupt men with power who want more of it. Polanski shows the theme of “everything is not what it seems” in ways throughout the film.

Visually, Polanski uses camera angles to trick the audience. In the very beginning the camera is extremely zoomed in completely on a set of pictures JJ is showing a man named Curly, played by Burt Young. These are pictures of Curly’s wife and another man, as they zoom out we hear a noise that sounds like someone crying, after some time we can make sense of this whole scene. Curly had hired JJ to find out if his wife was cheating! This tells us that JJ is an investigator of some sort and Curly is his customer.

Aurally, the dialogue is the main focus in this film. A woman named Ida Sessions comes to JJ’s office and claims she’s Evelyn Mulwray. When she says the, the audience is tricked into thinking that, yeah she’s Evelyn Mulwray. As the audience is tricked, so is JJ. She hires them under the impression that she’s trying to find out if her husband is a cheater. Another use of dialogue is when Noah Cross, the real Evelyn Mulwray’s father, asks JJ to find the women who his daughter’s husband is cheating with. What he really wants is his granddaughter since Mr.Mulwray wasn’t really cheating but spending time with Evelyn’s daughter. This also explains why the real Evelyn claims she knew her husband was cheating but didn’t care, because he wasn’t really cheating but spending time with this girl like she’s his daughter.

Performance, the actor’s performance added a lot to this film. Jack Nicholson did amazing at portraying a man who had seen it all. He was tough and hard boiled. Faye Dunaway did a great job at playing the woman who had done everything to her benefit. Faye would play a woman who could easily manipulate men with her good looks and get her way. Jack Huston had done a good job portraying a corrupt man who could use his money to buy power. These characters were essential to the film, they