A shooting at an all night diner is investigated by three LA policemen in their own unique ways.
Bud White and/or Ed Exley. It’s complicated.
September 19th, 1997
James Ellroy (book); Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson (screenplay)
LA Confidential by James Ellroy
Detective as protagonist?
Lani: Yes. All three of them.
Alastair: Absolutely, although who the protagonist actually is remains open to debate.
Murderer as antagonist?
Alastair: Yes, although the focus shifts from Patchett to Smith.
Conflict created by mystery/murder?
Lani: Yes, it’s the typical shed light/remain in the dark conflict.
Alastair: Yes, it’s present from the second scene of the film — or the first, if I had editorial control.
Fair play with all the clues given?
Lani: Yes; there were some areas that felt a little vague, but overall, I think everything was there all along.
Alastair: Yes, although it can be difficult to appreciate their significance through the smog of 1950s Los Angeles.
Solved using deduction, not luck?
All threads pertaining to the mystery pull together at the end?
Lani: Yes; once you go back through from the end and look at the beginning, it all makes sense why it’s there.
Alastair: Definitely. All those errant strands are pulled tight in the last act, and it comes together beautifully.
Story Analysis & Ratings:
Lani says: 4 Pops
Mystery: 5, Craft: 4, Suspense: 4, Romance: 1
Alastair says: 4 Pops
Mystery: 5, Craft: 3, Suspense: 3, Romance: 2