Sin City

Sin City, the place where the people do what they want to do, when they want to do it. To the naked and unknowing eye the movie Sin City may seem to be overly violent and sexist. However, the film is done in the style of film noir, so if one understands and knows what film noir is, it’s easier and more enjoyable to sit down and watch the extraordinarily well done Sin City.

The word “noir” is French for black, giving us the concept of dark film. Being essentially an action genre to often low budget thrillers, noir uses a strong, punchy film making style for maximum impact. These films’ long, sharply-defined shadows, framed in pitch-black darkness, tilted camera angles and claustrophobic masterpieces create an overall artistic view of the night that is easily recognized. Film noir links this look to its dark story lines to express themes of vague inspirations and dreary projections. Using visual elements in this way to express the story is an extreme visual style of heightened perceptions. This movie isn’t pretending to be an important social interpretation. It’s a pulp novel on steroids. It’s a journey into the darkest side of human nature. It never strays from this message, and never blurs the line between its world and our own. And that is why Sin City is a diabolically brilliant as a film.

This film turns comic book cinema into high art. Its visual style and voice-over narratives make you feel as if you were inside Frank Miller’s graphic novel. And the pace of the film is relentless, like a good comic book. Whether someone’s getting shot, stabbed, blown up, or tortured, the viewer is constantly being punched in the gut and kicked in the groin, without any opportunity to catch their breath. This comic book fiction makes an important semi-documentary like Saving Private Ryan look tame by comparison. The point of the violence and nudity is to mirror the corruption of the city. The story is about three characters, each of whom is trying to do what is right in a city that is corrupt. The portrayal of women is exaggerated intentionally. I am sorry for those who find the film challenging to watch because of the amount of violence and nudity which is, admittedly, rather grotesque, and for those who can’t look at the film on a deeper level other than it appearing to be sexist. The film is about the love a man has for a woman, how that love can make a man do anything, even the impossible. It’s also about one person’s struggle (or in this case, three) against an overwhelmingly strong grip that one society has on a city.

Sick, twisted people can be brought to a sort of justice in the end, even in a place where it’s supposed to be impossible. Just remember; whatever you do, no matter how powerful you are, your misguided actions will catch up to you – if you live in Sin City that is.

3 thoughts on “Sin City”

  1. I LIKED the film but I was never crazy about it. The stories play much better separate. On a visual level, it’s astounding. That’s a given. But the theatrical film was just good on a story level. Being so faithful to Frank Miller’s comic is both it’s downfall and attribute.

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