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Cate Blanchett as Veronica Guerin
Gerard McSorley as John Gilligan
Ciarán Hinds as John Traynor
Brenda Fricker as Bernie Guerin
Don Wycherley as Chris Mulligan
Barry Barnes as Graham Turley
Simon O'Driscoll as Cathal Turley
Emmet Bergin as Aengus Fanning
Charlotte Bradley as Anne Harris
Mark Lambert as Willie Kealy
Garrett Keogh as Tony Gregory
Maria McDermottroe as Geraldine Gilligan
Paudge Behan as Brian Meehan
Joe Hanley as Eugene 'Dutchie' Holland
David Murray as Charles Bowden
Deleted Scene – Veronica Guerin Speaks At The Committee To Protect Journalists
The Real Veronica Guerin Speaks At The Committee To Protect Journalists
"Public Mask, Private Fears" Making Of The Movie
A Conversation With Producer Jerry Bruckheimer
Audio Commentary With Director Joel Schumacher
Audio Commentary With Writers Carol Doyle And Mary Anges Donoghue
Producer's Photo Gallery
Widescreen (2.35:1) – Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French Language Track
Running Time: 98 Minutes
This movie is based on the true story of Veronica Guerin.
In 1994, Ireland was being overrun by drugs dealers and criminal thugs. Since it was a lower class problem, the general public turned a blind eye towards the violence and murders. The government also hampered police with restrictive laws. Journalist Veronica Guerin was one of the few people actually addressing the problem. Through her investigations and interviews with addicts, dealers, and gangsters, she slowly tracked the source of the drugs. However, as she got closer, her life was put more and more at risk. Veronica put her life, career, and family in harm's way in order to expose the criminals taking over her country. Unfortunately, she became a martyr because of her work, but her death wasn't in vain. Her murder prompted legislative reform in the country as well as the arrest of some of the most ruthless criminals in Ireland.
Veronica Guerin is rated R for violence, language and some drug content.
I missed Veronica Guerin in theaters mainly because I knew what it was about. Rather than being a feel-good, pick-me-up film, I knew it was a heart wrenching tale about one of Ireland's most beloved martyrs. I mainly go to movies to be entertained, and I knew that this movie wasn't intended for that purpose. Like films about Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, or JFK, you know that it doesn't necessarily have a happy ending. After seeing it on DVD, I was reminded that I was right about the film. While being an excellent movie about a remarkable person, it was still depressing and difficult to watch.
Needless to say, Cate Blanchett is fantastic as Veronica Guerin. She's an actress that has proven over and over that she can do anything. Blanchett does a great Irish accent and she truly becomes the character. You really believe that she's a tough, fearless investigative journalist. A scene early in the movie where she sees children playing with used syringes quickly establishes why she's passionate about exposing these criminals. However, I wasn't sure what to think about her putting her family in harm's way in order to do her job. While I admire what she did, I have to question the justification for putting her child at risk of being kidnapped and murdered. Her own eventual murder shows that they really were in danger. The only bright side is that her death brought some real change to the country.
The supporting cast, all of whom are Irish, are great as well. Gerard McSorley as John Gilligan is one of the best bad guys that I've seen on the screen in quite some time. A brutal beating his character gives Guerin is really chilling. Ciarán Hinds is also good as John Traynor, a criminal informant who attempts to play both sides in the film. Colin Farrell also makes a brief cameo speaking in his native accent.
Dublin looks great in the film and really adds an interesting backdrop to the story. Joel Schumacher uses it to great effect and reminds us yet again that he's better at thrillers than comic book movies. The musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams is also beautiful. He wrote a nice versatile theme to the movie that plays from the opening scenes to the final funeral. It adds a great feel to the story.
Overall, Veronica Guerin is a first-rate film well worth checking out, but make sure you're in the mood for a depressing movie before popping it in the DVD player.
There are a few extras included on this DVD:
Deleted Scene – Veronica Guerin Speaks At The Committee To Protect Journalists – This is the one and only deleted scene included on the DVD. As stated, it shows Guerin accepting an award for bravery in reporting. She talks about the plight of fellow journalists and thanks her husband and son for sticking with her. While it's not a major scene, it's one of the few where Guerin really acknowledges what her family is giving up in order to support her. I think that's an important point to make that doesn't come across as much in the final version.
The Real Veronica Guerin Speaks At The Committee To Protect Journalists – As stated, this is real footage of Guerin's acceptance speech for the award. (You even see Tom Brokaw sitting next to her.) It follows the movie speech pretty well. It's really interesting to see footage of the real woman the movie is based on. There's not a lot of it in the extras, so it's a nice addition.
"Public Mask, Private Fears" Making Of The Movie – This is a little more than your standard "making of" feature in that they talk with real life family and friends of Veronica Guerin. They give you a bit more insight into what she was really like. Along with that, though, are interviews with cast and crew. Cate Blanchett has some interesting things to say about preparing for the role as well.
A Conversation With Producer Jerry Bruckheimer – This is really like a mini-audio commentary. In it, the legendary producer discusses different topics of the film as footage rolls in the background. He talks about the composer, preparing for the movie, filming in Dublin, and other stuff. Perhaps the most interesting part is where he talks about the premiere of the film in Dublin. Guerin's husband and son were in attendance and Bruckheimer talks about their reaction.
Audio Commentary With Director Joel Schumacher – Director's commentaries can often be quite boring, but Schumacher's isn't one of them. He throws out tons of facts about the real life Veronica Guerin and keeps you engrossed by the real story of the woman. While he does throw in trivia about the shoot and the actors, his comments on the actual events are what keep you riveted to his commentary. It's well worth listening to.
Audio Commentary With Writers Carol Doyle And Mary Anges Donoghue – Like Schumacher's commentary, this commentary by the writers is heavy on the real life facts about Veronica Guerin. They get into the Veronica Guerin myth vs. the reality, her motivations, and more. Again, it's interesting if you're intrigued by the movie.
Producer's Photo Gallery – Jerry Bruckheimer is known for taking photographs on set during production, and those photos are shown here in this feature as the producer talks about their content.
The Bottom Line:
Veronica Guerin is an interesting movie about an amazing person, but the dark conclusion to the movie may be a turn off for many viewers.