In the 70s, a man named Jimmy 'Whitey' Bulger became the leader of a mafia gang called "Winter Hill" in the corner of Boston. He became one of the most feared leaders of thugs in the small town. But the mafia group in this city is not only Winter Hill, there are also mafia groups that roam Boston.
One of Jimmy's childhood friends has landed a position as a member of the FBI. John Connolly got the task of rooting out the mafia movement in Boston, but he doesn't have much information about the whereabouts of the mafia. Finally, he asked Jimmy for help to uncover another mafia gang, while Winter Hill was freed by his status as an FBI informant.
In contrast to his brother, Jimmy has a younger brother named William Bulger who works as a politician, namely as a senator in the Massachusetts area. However, William did not care about his brother's actions. He doesn't want to interfere with the mafia activities carried out by his sibling.
Jimmy took this opportunity as much as possible to expand the territory of Winter Hill. Winter Hill seemed to get protection from the FBI to freely launch its criminal acts. Until finally Winter Hill's power expanded, and Jimmy had turned from a petty criminal to a big guy. All crimes committed with the Winter Hall gang include murder, robbery, trafficking drugs, to selling weapons. While Connolly also does not dare to reveal the crimes committed, Connolly is afraid that his name will be dragged down because he is involved in several Winter Hall crimes.
This crime drama film reminds us of the 2013 film The Iceman about the cold-blooded killer Richard Kuklinski, but BlackMass seems to have a bigger effort by bringing the actor a thousand faces Johnny Depp, making this film more than just a true-story based film. Depp's deepening of character in playing Jimmy 'Whitey' Bulger as a big criminal, was totally and gave a terrible impression. The sadistic impression is not shown from a scene that is a lot of blood everywhere but from the acting that is performed by Depp himself.
Jim Bulger went from being a Boston street criminal to being a top-class criminal who was even able to control the FBI. Jim Bugler is described as a criminal who doesn't show many angry expressions such as hitting the table, hitting, and so on. On the other hand, he was mostly silent but immediately acted deadly.
As this film only tells the history and brutality of the Winter Hill gang led by Jim Bulger, no protagonist role is shown in the film. But behind the dark side of Jim Bulger's personality, this film also discusses the warm side of Jim Bugler as a father and the oldest brother in his family.
Besides Bulger, the dominant character in this dark story is FBI member John Connolly. Played by Joel Edgerton, Connolly should be the object of the audience's emotions where Conolly, as an FBI person, serves Jim Bulger just for the sake of his career. Meanwhile, his younger brother, William Bulger, has a very calm personality and is a stark contrast to his brother. Benedict Cumberbatch did not seem to have exhausted his acting skills much for the role.
Benedict Cumberbatch, as we usually see in most films he plays in neat clothes and ties. His character is calmer with his political activities when compared to his older brother, who is a mafia with an eccentric appearance.
The plot in this film runs slowly. With the duration played, it seems that the director deliberately invited the audience to get to know Bulger's character as a whole. How Bulger, who was originally just a petty criminal in the city of Boston who still has empathy as a community, then several things such as the death of his biological son and mother, has turned Bulger into a violent, bloodthirsty brutal psychopath. Bulger's personality change was also caused by the FBI who did not act decisively on the behavior of the Winter Hill Genk, led by Bulger, due to the conspiracy of Connolly and Bulger.
A murder scene is just a shoot or a beating. Nothing looks extravagant with the splash of blood. It's not even scarier than the Depp film with Tim Burton in Sweeney Todd. But because this film is a film based on a true story, the audience will find it easier to feel the tension and sadness of Jimmy Bulger with this cold-blooded killer expression.
The cinematography of films depicting the era of the 70s is also very crucial in supporting the depiction of tense nuances. The atmosphere is dark with the location of the small town of Boston with concrete alleys as the background for the mafia Genk competition in the film Black Mass. Unlike most other mafia films, the BlackMass film does not display sensuality with wild female characters. But that doesn't mean this film can be enjoyed by all ages, because scenes of violence are still very high-tension.
Amidst the rush of new films in September, it looks like Black Mass will remain the top choice, especially for adult audiences. It is undeniable that Johnny Depp's acting is the first glance of people to see this film. Several other actors who played a role include Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, and Corey Soll. Black Mass aired starting September 18, 2015.
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