Opening 23 Sep 2010
Academy Award ® winner Ben Affleck directs and co-writes (with Aaron Stockard and Peter Craig) as well as stars in the cinematography thriller The Town, based on Chuck Hogan’s novel The Prince of Thieves. Hogan’s narrative concentrates on a small town legacy turning out more bank and armored car robbers than any other place in the world. It is told that the one square mile radius neighborhood formerly housed a maximum security penitentiary. The families of the convicted would move to the area to be in close proximity to their loved ones. The migration would hold the released criminals to the area but did little to keep them from returning to scandalous activity. Affleck and his co-writers’ premise for The Town is the theory Hogan’s book proposes, that a strict code of silence within the Boston borough of Charlestown is what manufactured big-time crime with precision and excellence. Robbing banks became the neighborhood’s trade passed down from fathers to sons. The generational transfer of the trade known as “the family business” marked a successful way of life for the tight-lipped community.
The Townies are the individuals who align themselves with the Charlestown trade of robbing banks. Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), a townie from the younger generation, leads the current string of bank robberies along with three expert accomplices from the townie-hood. All four robbers are childhood friends. The local police and FBI agents are forever one step behind the young criminal bucks, intensifying weekly cop and robber escapades. MacRay’s best friend, Jem (Jeremy Renner), takes a female bank employee hostage, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), during their latest robbery. Jem’s action is the first sign of a breakdown in the bank robbers’ cohesive style: never take a hostage and kill no one. The capture and later the release of the hostage is a major error, triggering a downward spiral and jeopardizing Charlestown’s criminal operation. Slowly the code of silence unravels. Keesey, a new resident of Charlestown, is an outsider to the community, which poses a potential problem. Jem wants to quietly get rid of her because she is a threat to their livelihood, as well as one who could identify them. MacRay assures Jem that he will handle the situation, but complicates his mission when he falls in love with Keesey. The love MacRay has longed for his whole life is now available to him. It is a love that can pave a road toward redemption from his wrongful way of life, but he is unaware at what price it will cost him and the relationships he holds dear. (Karen Pecota)