Public Enemies

image, courtesy of

: Michael Mann
Casts: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, James Russo, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard


The difficult 1930s is a time of robbers who knock over banks and other rich targets with alarming frequency. Of them, none is more notorious than John Dillinger, whose gang plies its trade with cunning efficiency against big businesses while leaving ordinary citizens alone. As Dillinger becomes a folk hero, FBI head J. Edger Hoover is determined to stop his ilk by assigning ace agent Melvin Purvis to hunt down Dillinger. As Purvis struggles with the manhunt’s realities, Dillinger himself faces an ominous future with the loss of friends, dwindling options and a changing world of organized crime with no room for him.

Johnny Depp scored again! His acting skill is unquestionable. He is the master of turning a dark character into a charming one. He’s successful in portraying John Dillinger as witty, smart, confident, the beloved outlaw or public enemy, just like Robin Hood on the streets (out of the woods). I love the scene when public welcomed Dillinger just like their ‘hero’ and the officer was willing to be photographed hugging with Dillinger, but it stroke me when Dillinger entered the “Dillinger case” police office, checked the pictures and anything there, and even asked the police officers about the scores of a match aired in radio. He knew how to position himself to deceive others, trickery master. Maybe this is subjective, but I find Dillinger tremendously sexy on that particular scene. I always fall in love with bad boys: doing what is prohibited as if it is natural and right to do that.

However, I feel like this movie is relying too much on Dillinger although he is the main character. This movie is one-man-show! Although there’s agent Purvis placed as the antagonist character (Dillinger’s enemy), Purvis’ character is less explored and ends up just like ‘decoration’. Dillinger and Purvis are both smart and confident in themselves but there’s a major difference between both of them: Purvis is not ready to see death. Dillinger pointed this fact behind the bars when they met for the first time. I was expecting, at least this matter to be explored more but I only got a note at the end of the movie, that Purvis committed suicide one year after the death of Dillinger (I might be wrong about the time, correct me if I’m wrong). Also, this movie’s title is Public Enemies, not just Public Enemy, and yet I sense there’s only one, just Dillinger. Dillinger’s friends are just Dillinger’s friends. I don’t know anything about them. Again, they’re only ‘decorations’ in this movie.

Note: I am aware that people are pretty annoyed by the miss on historical facts, but I decide to treat this movie as fiction. After all they don’t write the “inspired by true story” stuff on the movie poster.

9 of 10 for Johnny Depp’s acting skill
6.5 of 10 for the overall movie

Here’s Public Enemies’ trailer for you

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