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Veronica, real and meaningful

When journalist Veronica Guerin walked through streets blanketed in dirty needles children used as toys, she knew she had to do something. The laws of Ireland worked in favor of the country’s drug dealers or “pushers,” and no one wanted to touch the subject until Veronica came along.

Veronica Guerin is directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie is based on a true story.

Playing the title role, Cate Blanchett realistically portrays the Irish journalist of Dublin’s Sunday Independent who was later murdered for her investigative reports. Despite numerous threats and physical confrontations, Veronica continued to dig deeper into the Dublin underworld. She was already a quasi-celebrity for her in-depth reporting but felt she had to do more. Veronica made a difference but not in the way she intended.

The arrangement of the story — from an exhilarated Veronica fresh from a courtroom win over speeding tickets to her shocking end — is told in a circular fashion.

In addition to the violent portions of the film, there are many shorter scenes that are just as memorable.

The film’s cinematography is very dramatic.

In some scenes, the camera’s bouncing shots take on a first person perspective — the viewer seeing through Veronica’s eyes.

The camera also shifts to alternate view points from some minor characters.

Blanchett lights up all of her scenes, although the other actors have no problem keeping up with her acting. The acting is believable and never overplayed.

Popular “A-list” Hollywood heartthrob Colin Farrell gives a cameo appearance in an amusing scene.

The best scenes by far, however, are the confrontations Guerin has with the scummy “Coach” (John Traynor) and bad-guy John Gilligan (Gerard McSorley).

She doggedly pursues them for information, even going into a whorehouse.

By the end of the movie, Guerin’s work becomes a rallying point for all of Ireland. New laws are passed, the communities rises up against drugs and within a year, the crime rate decreases by 15 percent.

Although there has not been much publicity for Veronica Guerin other than a few television spots, the movie has everything a great film should: a good plot, believable actors, action, great cinematography and meaning. This is not a “fluff” movie; it’s based on a true story and is all the more meaningful because the real-life Guerin labored hard to remedy the wrongs in society by very public, not very glamorous means.