By Gulal Singh (Mumbai)
FEAR THE POLICE, NOT THE BOGEYMAN
Training Day is a psychedelic, dark and tragic crime/thriller that explores the corrupt ways of the LAPD and how a good cop tries to make things right. It may sound like a cliché concept of an ethical cop trying to do the right thing, but where the film takes you is absolutely unpredictable. This film is basically the definition of what could go wrong in one day. It follows rookie police detective Jake Hoyt, who is on the first day of his job trying to get along with Captain Alonzo, but things just don’t seem to go the way they were planned. It is a real and brutal take on corrupt police, hopping over topics like fake encounters and rape. It is a timeless masterpiece that delivers a message without hesitation and breaking many stereotypes along the way.
Every character is on their toes throughout and acts based on their first instinct, that’s what makes this film suspenseful and exhilarating. Ethan Hawke is absolutely superb and there is something really bizarre yet bewildering about the chemistry between him and Denzel Washington. The menacing yet charming performance delivered by Denzel will captivate the viewer and leave them stunned. The editing is perfect as it creates tension between scenes that adds to the overall excitement. The direction also seems effortless as it is what keeps the movie together and makes it really fast paced. The mood induced is quite gloomy and that is also reflected in the character’s behaviour and the lighting. Antoine Fuqua has managed to bring in the element of horror which has elevated the film’s level. It makes every moment important almost as if the movie is one shot. Even though it was made in 2002 most of the issues it focuses on are still very much relevant in society today.
But the film does come with its flaws. In some scenes the editing is too slick which makes it difficult to comprehend and understand what happened. The movie lacks a strong supporting cast and many scenes have been unnecessarily stretched which can at time make you lose interest. Many times it can seem like that everything in the movie is happening for the plot’s convenience, which is quite annoying and makes the situation too good to be true, but whenever the movie seems to be drifting away, that’s when the charismatic duo of Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke step in to work their magic and get the movie back on track.
Before I conclude I must say that this may not be everyone’s cup of tea and might be a bit slow for people who enjoy light hearted comedies, and may at times seem boring, but it is raw and compelling, and if you want to see a bad-ass cop flick, then this one’s for you.
Overall, the film has an average concept, but the terrific performances and the on point direction make Training Day a gripping and moving film. With that said, I hope you understood my opinion, maybe even agree with it, and if you haven’t already seen Training Day, I do recommend you watch it.