By Sara Dobosh
Arts & Life Editor
“The Town” has the typical boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-in-love-with-girl plot–except unlike most films, the boy meets the girl by robbing the bank where she works and taking her hostage.
The movie takes place in Charlestown, Mass., a blue-collar town with a high crime rate. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) and his three childhood friends make a living byrobbing banks. Dressed in costume, they rob the bank’s armored trucks as the banks open in the morning. When an unplanned challenge emerges, the group takes bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall) hostage. To prevent Claire from telling the FBI all she remembers about the men, MacRay dates Claire so he can slyly retrieve information about the case’s progress.
Claire is ignorant of MacRay‘s alibi, so she shares with him the trauma she experienced during the incident.
“The Town” is more than the average action-packed film. The criminal story is solely the outside layer while romance, growing up and past family relations compose the depth of the film. Affleck and Hall have believable chemistry throughout, and it is truly heartbreaking when the FBI informs Claire of MacRay’s true identity.
MacRay struggles to understand why his mother abandoned him when he was six years old and vies to avoid following in his father’s footsteps with a life in prison.
MacRay aims to desert his criminal life by finally leaving Charlestown. He tries to terminate his criminal activities, but is constantly pulled back into the web of criminals. MacRay and Claire plan to leave Charlestown and begin a new life together, yet the plan is averted when she discovers MacRay’s true identity and when MacRay and his group are forced to perform one more robbery. Their last robbery is the riskiest: the team must rob the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park.
“The Town” was quite enjoyable, with action-packed car chases, romance between Claire and MacRay that I found myself rooting for and, most importantly, Affleck’s incredible and realistic performance.