Dark Waters (2020) A Review

That was phenomenal, so so much better than I was expecting.  The runtime is a little long, but the whole thing is eye widening and terrifying if you think about it for too long.

Certificate: 12A

Director: Todd Haynes

Screenwriter: Mario Correa

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins

Genre: Biography, Drama

Runtime: 126 Minutes

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

I was not expecting to love this film as much as I did.  I didn’t know the story beforehand, and I chose not to read up on it before I saw the film, so I could experience the story fresh.  And I am so glad that I did.  That way I felt the full horror and tension the way that the story is intended.  And truly horrific it is.

Rob Bilott is a Corporate Defence Attorney who, as a favour to a family friend, agrees to look into a case involving the chemical Company DuPont.  What he uncovers is that Dupont has been willingly and knowingly poisoning the people of a small town in West Virginia and lying about it for the last forty years. 

The story is told over a long period of time, so unlike a lot of biopics, we really get to see the toll that the story takes not just in terms of story telling.  But the toll it’s takes on Rob and his family, on the other defendants and on the Dupont company itself.  If you didn’t already think that big American companies are shifty already, you will do by the time the credits start rolling on this one.  The story is told incredibly well, you see the entire painstaking and stressful process from beginning to end.

Mark Ruffalo gives a fantastic performance here, one of his best for me. By the third at of the film you feel so badly for him, he has literally put his entire life on the line in order to bring this company to justice, and for the majority of the film you believe there is no chance he will win.  So, the final climax is a big relief for everyone involved. But for me it is Anne Hathaway who really gives the standout performance here.  She plays Rob’s Wife Sarah, and she gives some of the most amazing emotional performances here.  She does not get the attention she deserves for this role.

The runtime does feel a little long.  There are a lot of unnecessarily long scenes of Rob just driving in his car, these could easily have been cut and the film would have lost none of its amazingness.  It is the only thing here that is stopping this being a five star film for me, there were definitely parts that seemed to drag.

If you haven’t seen this yet, or it isn’t on your list of priorities, I would highly suggest that you change that.  Dark Waters is available in UK Cinemas now.

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