Home is truly where the heart is…where a person is born and raised are quintessentially key to a person’s character, development and attitude. The streets you walk in your youth fundamentally shape your life perception as is company you keep and the enclosed community with whom you bond. A sense of belonging and experiences in a city or town is what can instantly draw strangers together. For better or worse, it made you who you are…….
Ben Affleck often plays homage to his hometown of Boston in the films he has both written, directed and starred in. Affleck constantly veers away from the tourist friendly ‘postcard’ view of his beloved city and portrays the gritty underbelly of everyday working society simply just trying to get by. His films are often ‘love letters’ to his hometown and the greatest star of each piece, the city itself and the unique characteristics which defines it.
Through Affleck’s vision, people’s morality, actions and judgments are often questionable but never truly clear cut; survival is key and communities close ranks against outsiders in the first sign of trouble. In this world, the line between the straight and narrow and crime blurs into one……
“GONE BABY GONE”
Affleck directed and co-wrote “Gone Baby Gone” which starred his younger brother Casey Affleck. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel, the story follows two world weary cops in a race against time to find a kidnapped girl. The story weaves an intriguing web of characters all of whom have different motives to solve the case and of course, not everyone is who they seem…..
Another crime drama with Ben Affleck in a leading role. “The Town” tells of a member of a gang of bank robbers who falls in love with a female bank manager of one of the organizations they target. It ultimately is a story of redemption and trying to break the communal tribal and blood bonds which can hold a person back in life. Sometimes to be successful, a person has to leave their past behind in order to excel………
Of course, you can never forget “Good Will Hunting”, the film which launched him to super-stardom and “Mystic River” by Clint Eastwood and again based on a novel by Dennis Lehane. Both again have a grittiness permeating throughout.