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A reporter’s fierce resolve for justice

Robert Chacon is the La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge reporter

for the News-Press, the Leader’s sister publication.

In “Veronica Guerin,” the namesake character, played by Cate

Blanchett, risks her life and that of her family to expose a gang of


drug dealers in 1990s Ireland.

The investigative journalist endures threats, beatings and is even

shot by one of the gang members, but she remains undeterred in

putting their story in the headlines.


Director Joel Schumacher is equally undeterred, rarely straying

from his focus on Guerin’s investigation. Schumacher doggedly pursues

Guerin the way she pursues the drug dealers. At just under two hours,

the film is not long enough to delve into every aspect of Guerin’s


Ultimately, this is why the film succeeds in its treatment of the

story. The real-life events are left unadulterated and pure, much

like the heroin being sold by the drug dealer’s in the film.


The film remains compelling because Guerin’s story is not treated

as a typical Hollywood vehicle meant to translate into large

box-office returns.

Hollywood films usually treat drug use with gratuitous scenes of

abuse, focusing on the immediate after effects of the high. “Fear and

Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Trainspotting” and “Requiem for a Dream” are

examples of this.

In this film, Guerin symbolizes the Herculean efforts taken by


individuals on behalf of justice.

* “Veronica Guerin” is rated R for violence, language and some

drug content.