Veronica Guerin

Charting a real person’s life can be challenging. How much one expresses their true personality is a mark of a good writer. ‘Veronica Guerin’ walks this tightrope with mixed results. Recently deceased director Joel Schumacher and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were not known for story-telling subtlety. Although they martyr their subject to a degree, ‘Veronica Guerin’ still tells an interesting tale of a person refusing to give up no matter the consequences.

Veronica Guerin (Cate Blanchett) is a crime reporter for the Sunday Independent newspaper in Dublin. Determined to write an article exposing Dublin’s major drug lords and suppliers, her efforts catch the ire of dangerous people such as fearsome drug baron John Gilligan (Gerard McSorley). Pushing ahead with her quest at any cost, her unwavering sense of justice would inspire others.

‘Veronica Guerin’ is blessed with a compelling story ripe for a gripping film. Unfortunately this isn’t it as instead of unearthing the character’s backgrounds, the film-makers go for pure melodrama. The story relies on biopic clichés with originality rarely seen. This isn’t the fault of the performers who give it their all within the context of their thinly written roles.

‘Veronica Guerin’s’ main problem is the wrong people were in charge of telling her story. Her perseverance and integrity were admirable with her dealings with the drug trade interesting. A few of these elements find their way into the script. Overall there’s a ‘TV movie of the week’ feel with the brisk run-time more concerned with surface gloss than gritty realism.

It’s more disappointing seeing a movie squandering its potential. Although having several intriguing moments, ‘Veronica Guerin’ makes its subjects’ extraordinary efforts seem mundane. That in itself is a crime worthy of investigation with a Wikipedia entry on the title character likely to provide more substance than the film bearing her name.

Rating out of 10: 5


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