7.5/10 Film studios love to throw the word “timely” around when describing their films to often make them seem more important than they actually are but “Dark Waters” truly is a timely film that I have a feeling will be an interesting opposite end of the coin to “Richard Jewell”. We have seen true David vs. Goliath stories before of individuals taking on giant corporations and companies to fight for the little man and although this film falls into that genre, it tackles a specific story that we have not previously seen onscreen before now. The trailer tells you all you need to know about the story of how DuPont was knowingly pouring chemical waste runoff into rivers, lakes, etc. of towns, getting people deathly ill and not taking any responsibility for it. How the story unfolds and how it ends is what we don’t know and “Dark Waters” does a great job of taking a somewhat predictable story and making it interesting by giving us emotional connections to the characters and the ups and downs of this rigorous legal process that went into fighting DuPont. The acting across the board is really strong and in particular, our lead, Mark Ruffalo, does a great job. I thought that Tim Robbin’s character would be played one way based off of the trailer and beginning of the film but he surprised me and I like what he did with his character. The score isn’t very memorable but it sets the mood very well, giving us a muted and uncomfortable feeling about what is going on, which is exactly how we should feel. The film is laced in dark blue hues, a mix of “dark” and “water” as the film title suggests and it works really well. The timeline is easy to follow and you are engaged the entire time. There are some great emotional moments and the film shows just how hard this man and his team worked for over a decade to get some justice brought forth. There are some complaints I had but they are relatively minor. This film, despite having a very different lead character and based on a separate true story, has some similar shades of the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” and some moments felt a little too similar to that previous film. Anne Hathaway does a fine acting job but I wish her character would have been developed slightly more. She did have some character development and wasn’t just a generic wife but I think taking her character just a little further would have helped. As I mentioned earlier, some of it was a little predictable and after you have seen this once, there isn’t much of a need to revisit it. That being said, this is still a strong film and director Todd Haynes elevates this material. Educational true stories like this are films that every American should see as to inform them of how untrustworthy government and corporations can be and that we as Americans sadly have to look after our own best interests many times. Hydrate with clean water and check this film out.
#TeflonOfTheDead / #TheShapeOfDarkWater / #MusicByMuddyWaters / #DuPontedHouses / #MysickRiver / #FauxCatcher