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Veronica Guerin (18)



Review by: Katherine Kaminsky | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed

STARRING Cate Blanchett, this is the true story of a groundbreaking investigative journalist who, singlehanded, took on and exposed Dublin's Underworld in the mid-1990's.

The film starts with Veronica Guerin's shocking murder, and then flashes back to reveal the circumstances that led to her being shot dead in her car.

Using her main underworld contact, John Traynor (Ciaran Hinds), Veronica seeks to discover the primary players involved in the heroine epidemic sweeping the North side of Dublin.

Traynor is portrayed as a seedy, vain, wannabe who is only too happy to boast of his criminal connections. However, one of those connections is his boss, an extremely violent Irish gang leader, John Gilligan (Gerard McSorley).

Gilligan, aware that Veronica is getting close, warns Traynor that if his name appears in her column, in the Sunday Independent, Traynor will pay the consequences for talking to the press.

Traynor throws Veronica some red herrings but she is not deterred, afraid for his own safety he resorts to violence to frighten her off the story. This only makes her more determined to uncover the truth.

Veronica is represented graciously but without gloss. We see her vulnerable and afraid, as well as unpopular with her peers.

But, most interesting, is her naivete, believing herself to be safe because you can't shoot the messenger.

This poses a question mark as to whether she would have continued the story had she fully understood the danger she would be in.

Touching also, is the insight into her family life, particularly the relationship with her mother, Bernadette, played by Brenda Fricker, who against her better judgement, valiantly supports her courageous daughter.

The performances are excellent and Blanchett's accent is flawless, however, director, Joel Schumacher, cannot resist a sentimental ending, with most of Dublin being told of the shooting. This was annoying, unnecessary and went on too long.

Although the second film to be made about Veronica Guerin, (When The Sky Falls, starring Joan Allen, came first) it is well worth a look.

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