Live By Night is a novel adaptation of an award winning novel by Dennis Lehane. Live By Night takes us back during the Great Depression in U.S. Even though the drugs are already illegal, this was also the time when liquor was also banned.
It was also a time for personalities like Joe Coughlin, played by Ben Affleck. During these times, criminals like Billy The Kid back in the Old West and notorious bank robbing couple Bonnie and Clyde are considered cult heroes during their time. Coughlin is only fictional and not on the same level as the famous bank robbers but he is considered an antihero long before there was no word to describe them.
Unlike any gangster movie, this is not just action-packed. It also has drama. Just like any American novel that spans years, it also involves history. It might also be a good TV series since it is an adaptation. But as a movie, it was done pretty well.
As a gangster drama, it was expected that the movie is male dominated but the women characters also shows a powerful role in the lives of the men. Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Elle Fanning did well on their characters. Who would have thought that the late 1920’s to 30’s can be sexy and appealing?
Chris Messina also played a good role as Coughlin’s right hand man. The author Lehane describe this character as a heavy man so Messina added more weight to play the part. This is how detailed the movie is from the book.
Behind the camera, Ben Affleck has done well in this movie as expected. He is just as good in acting as well as directing. He already had an Oscar when he first started in Good Will Hunting. Back then, he is starting to make a name in the movie industry. I also hope that Live By Night will get noticed just like his previous works The Town and Argo.
In my opinion, the character Joe Coughlin shows similarities with local gangster Asiong Salonga. Both are considered antiheroes but they are considered honorable personalities. Both of them have big roles in their communities they belonged to. I believe Filipino audiences should watch this movie.
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