Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones
Director: Rupert Goold
Running Time: 99 mins
True Story is an American film about a disgraced New York Times journalist who discovers that a recently arrested killer is pretending to be him. As a result, he travels to meet the man, where he discovers a fascinating but frightening story that he wants to tell the world.
This is a pretty engrossing and ultimately exciting film. With pretty strong performances from the main actors, and a screenplay that keeps you well-engaged, this is a film that is largely fascinating to follow.
Jonah Hill and James Franco, mostly comedic actors, take on these dramatic roles very well. Jonah Hill puts in a good show as this disgraced journalist to demonstrate the emotional torture he is going through whilst losing his reputation, however James Franco is even more impressive as a very creepy psychopath, but his performance still isn’t too over-the-top and weird, meaning that the mystery of his crime is still unpredictable.
Felicity Jones also stars as the wife of Jonah Hill’s character, and although she is presented as a pretty intelligent woman, she isn’t really given much to do in this story apart from simply look worried and play second fiddle to Jonah Hill in the investigation.
With regards to the plot, this is a indeed an exciting and engaging thriller. The mystery is quite unpredictable, the story of this journalist’s world falling apart in such a short space of time is fascinatingly dramatic, whilst it also touches on some very intriguing themes, such as the ethics of journalism, as in whether this alleged psychopath deserves to have his side of the story told at all, which is even more interesting to follow along to.
However, there is a major problem with the screenplay. It may be interesting and quite exciting in the final act, but it is at times quite confusing and on the edge of incoherent. This isn’t a confusing film à la Inception, it’s quite a straightforward thriller, but the sometimes-off dialogue does make it often a little hard to comprehend, making the unpacking of the mystery a whole lot more difficult than it really should be.
Overall, this gets a 7.5, because it’s a pretty solid thriller with good performances, not particularly outstanding technical achievements, and a decent plot, if not a slightly confusing one.