Veronica Guerin

Cover Art: 8/10
The cover for Veronica Guerin is one of the few covers that I actually like. As soon as I saw it I felt like the movie was going to be intense, and I was right. The red and black is striking and the images are simple but have a lot more character than most DVD covers even come close to.

The menu is basic with video playing in the background and static links to the different parts of the DVD. This isn’t a flashy movie so I understand why the cover and menus are somewhat understated. Someone gave this package some thought, or so it seems, and I appreciate that.

Features: 8/10

  • Deleted Scene – Just a few bits that didn’t make it to the final cut. There’s not anything that’s to extreme or would have influenced the final cut of the movie.
  • The Real Veronica Guerin Speaks – A Documentary that covers the life of the real Veronica Guerin. It’s wonderful to see the person behind a character in a movie. Guerin’s choices had a huge impact on policies in her country’s drug and tax policies and it was all because she was not willing to turn the other way when she saw the evils of the drug trade in her community.
  • Making Of The Movie – Interviews with cast and crew and behind the scenes footage. A great extra to make it clear that a lot of heart went into the telling of this woman’s story.
  • A Conversation With Jerry Bruckheimer – Bruckheimer talks about why and how he came to make Veronica Guerin.
  • Photo Gallery With Jerry Bruckheimer – A selection of photos taken during the shooting of the movie, all taken with a director’s eye.
  • Audio Commentary With Joel Schumacher – Schumacher’s made a lot of movies and so he has a keen combination of Hollywood savvy and a strong sense of old fashioned story telling. I like listening to a veteran talk about the technical aspects of film making and the heart behind the art of it all.
  • Audio Commentary With Writers Carol Doyle & Agnes Donoghue – More interesting commentary by the writers, which I find the most interesting to be honest. These folks had to take a real life, bigger than life personality, and make a film that could do her justice. I think they did a perfect job of it.

The Movie: 8/10:
There are a few people in the history of humanity who have devoted their lives to make a change in the world. We here names like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and others from every part of the world who have given most of their lifetimes, and even lives to the causes they believe in. These are just the ones we hear about in the news, there are thousands of unsung heroes all over the world we never learn about in history books. I had never heard of Veronica Guerin but that’s the beauty of films, they can open our eyes to things in the world we might not get a chance to learn about.

This is not a flashy movie. There’s not fancy camera work or tricks of the eye to tease us visually. It’s a pretty straight forward slice of this extraordinary life. Schumacher has the full potential to over do just about any movie that crawls in front of his camera, but he knows how to balance the gravity of the real lives behind the story, and the need to make a successful movie that audiences will be receptive to.

A woman who wants to fight against the drug infestation of Dublin, Ireland uses her position as a reporter to shed light on the big business behind the destruction that was ravaging the streets. She is intimidated, threatened, and attacked for her attempts at disrupting the free flow of money and needles.

There are “drug” stories like Trainspotting and then there are drug stories like Veronica Guerin. Two kinds of movies looking at the same subject from two completely different perspectives. Heroin addiction, heroin business, it’s all a lucrative world to explore and both approaches are powerful. The artistic and bold look of Trainspotting makes you take notice of what lies underneath the flashy surface. A movie like Veronica Guerin doesn’t need the artistic approach, no more than is required to give it a touch of style. It’s a beautiful film with slightly muted colors and natural lighting. I was as consumed by Kate Blanchett’s performance and the spirit of Guerin’s determination.

Every performance in the film is superb and Blanchett is nearly flawless. She has her “acting” moments, if you know what I mean, but over all she takes on a character I haven’t seen her play before, strong, fully confident, unwavering, but charming and often quite funny. There’s no room for massive interpretation since she was playing a person who lived only a few years ago and who’s family was involved in the making of the movie. She had to study the many videos of Guerin to get a grasp on her mannerisms and personality. You will see Guerin in the extras footage and find that Blanchett got her figured out completely.

There will always be people who stand up for what they believe, who risk their own lives to make a difference in the world, but we might never hear about them. With a movie like Veronica Guerin we get a chance to be inspired by their stories and hopefully their bravery and convictions will have an impression on us too. Who knows, all the stories might not just be about other people.

Value: 7/10
You can find this DVD for about 19 bucks online and if you are a lover of drama and true life stories, it’s well worth the investment. Besides the excellent movie you get a lot of extras to add to the whole package. It’s a classy addition to our DVD shelf, one that I will encourage anyone who comes around to watch.

Overall Score 8/10