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Veronica Guerin

Why would anyone want to kill Veronica Guerin?  

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Veronica Guerin

Veronica Geurin (played by Cate Blanchett) is the true story of an Irish reporter writing for the Irish Sunday Independent, who worked to uncover the names of local drug barons operating in Dublin.  By exploiting her contacts and manipulating her chief informant, the not so reliable John Traynor (Hinds), she gets nearer to the infamous John Gilligan (McSorely) the don of the drug trafficking.  In her determination to expose Gilligan, Veronica sacrifices her own personal safety and inadvertently that of her family.  Even after numerous death threats and being shot by an intruder in her own home, she pursues and eventually fights her way to Gilligan's doorstep.  The film ends where it begins, with Veronica's murder in 1996 by Gilligan's men, the step that galvanised the government into action against the drug barons and ensured Veronica's eventual success.

This film might sound like a bit of a chick flick but it really isn't; it's a film about the brutality of the drugs trade.  Near the beginning there are shots of children shooting up and a man being tortured for going to the police.  There is also a sense of ugly realism in this film; Veronica is mostly shown with stitches, cuts or on crutches from her confrontations with various dealers.

However there are also positive images in the film, about family, courage and the power of one person to make a difference. 

Cate Blanchett is perfect as Veronica, even managing to do a good Irish accent, despite being Australian.  Generally the acting is of a high standard, as is the script and the Celtic style music really captures the touching mood of the film.

Veronica Guerin's death made headlines news in her own country but not really anywhere else, which makes this film one of the more interesting biopics because it's a story not heard before, and told extremely well.

Veronica Guerin is definitely worth seeing because it's a great film, a true story and unbelievably moving.

Nicholas Grills

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)