“The Conversation” – 1974. Francis Ford Coppola

I’m not going to lie I’m a huge fan of this movie, I feel I should make it clear that I’m not going to be very critical of it. Gene Hackman is amazing in it and the turn it makes at the end works great.

The Conversation begins with a real winner, both visually and plot wise, a scene the whole movie revolves around in a satisfying way. It’s a slow encroaching zoom that eventually brings the subjects and sounds that the movie is built upon. Feel free to check it out here

Hackman plays Harry Caul a man marked by his inability to trust most anyone and an overriding sense of paranoia that sort of is comes with being an expert in the surveillance business. I should use expert a little cautiously cause what’s almost surprising to learn from the character of Gene Hackman’s Harry Caul is just how bad at his job he ends up being. Throughout the movie we see how people are able to do the same sort of infiltration on him that he puts on others, on top of that he seems just a little to easy to compromise.

The plot of the movie that revolves around the aforementioned first job we see in the title scene in which the contents of an incomplete audio tape drive Caul to investigate it’s true meaning. I really feel that nothing is wasted in this movie, the use of the repetition of that initial audio conversation works well and movie has a great tense tone it carries throughout the movie included a pretty effective hotel scene.

What really works for me and what I won’t discuss because of spoilers is the turn the movie makes at the end and just how effective it was on me. Your aware something isn’t right but we as well as Caul shocked to learn the truth all too late.

I feel I would be remised also if I didn’t mention that the character Hackman in the Will Smith vehicle “Enemy of the State,” is basically what would happen if the character Caul became even more paranoid and actually worked for the government. Robert Duvall and Harrison Ford also have small roles as well.

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