Headscratchers / The Town
- In Ben Affleck's The Town, three things:
1) How come no one besides the main FBI guy recognize Doug and his friend? Wasn't the only reason they showed up there because HIS EX GIRLFRIEND had told the police they'd be there? You'd think more than one person would know just who exactly they're trying to get. His entire escape hinges on no one recognizing him.
2) How come no one thinks it's a bit fishy that his girlfriend suddenly is wealthy and donates money to a hockey rink out of nowhere? You'd think they'd keep close tabs on her being that they're suspicious of her and have said as much in the movie.
3) Finally, why, fucking why, does his girlfriend love him? Stockholm Syndrome? The guy is not just a bank robber et cetera, but he gave her extreme trauma and made her emotionally needy... then went and had sex with her. It seems that she logically realizes this at one point. First, she says that her friends call him a rebound guy from the stress of the bank robbery. OK, then when she learns the truth she tells him "is this some weird sick thing you did" and asks why he would do something so terrible. He eventually apologizes and... she helps him escape and fools the FBI. HUH? So an "I'm sorry" covers what's some crazy mindfuck PTSD terror rape? That's a bit insane. Her help is what totally validates everything he did as ultimately correct... unless there's some alternate explanation where it just shows how emotionally damaged she was, but I doubt that given how the entire world of this movie is in love with Doug...
1. The FBI guy only found out while the robbery was actually been carried out. He didn't have time to hand out photos to all the cops and when they first arrived he thought that they might even have been too late.
- I don't quite buy it. Not one person asked "who the hell are we trying to catch anyway?" They did not have literally a second to send a text picture message? On the way over? Come on.
- What, a failure of communication between Federal and local authorities during the course of a rapid deployment? That's impossible! We all know that there is absolutely zero jurisdictional conflict between Boston PD and the FBI. It's not like we don't see any arguments or hostility between the two groups when they run into each other while clearing the stadium or anything. note
- The trick is that Doug, Jem, Gloansy, and Dez switch disguises to pose as police officers and/or paramedics, i.e. exactly the kinds of people who would be inconspicuous walking around a crime scene. That is the reason why when wearing a cop uniform, the FBI SWAT officers think Doug is just another cop. Furthermore, TruthinTelevision-Doug has his gun drawn and is acting like he belongs there.
- The police didn't know they were using cop uniforms until after they had left the building. Jem gives himself away by walking away from Fenway Park with a duffel bag over his shoulder. While the police are moving in on Jem after shooting him, Doug uses it as a distraction to steal a marked cruiser parked nearby.
2. It was donated anonymously to a charity.I doubt the FBI are watching who's donated to Charlestown's ice-rink on the off chance it was a bank robber's ex girlfriend spending his ill-gotten gains.
- I don't see why you would doubt this. They both have a connection to the rink. One is a bank robber and one is suspected of being his accomplice. A bunch of money just randomly coming from nowhere is always suspicious.
- Also, the money was donated in the name of the bank robber's mother, who had the same last name as him-and there was a placard at the rink stating that the gift was given in her memory. And the bank robber in question was a former professional hockey player, whose name was now undoubtedly all over the news, due to his crimes. The connection between the donation and the thief wouldn't be difficult to make.
- Who said they didn't find it suspicious? The movie doesn't say either way what happened after Claire got the money except that there was an anonymous donation to the ice rink. For all we know the FBI did look into it but couldn't find any evidence connecting the donation to Doug or Claire beyond the name.
- Coming from a Bostonian, in all honesty no one would likely think twice of it and would just go with it. Remember this is the same city where Whitey Bulger came from (once again, this is coming from a Bostonian, I'm not trying to be offensive, just stating the facts).
- Plus, does the FBI really want to be the ones to go to the hockey rink and tell the kids, "Sorry, we need to take the ice away because we think, but can't prove, it came from a bank robbery."
- Also, the money was probably laundered: early in the film Frawley explains how the gang runs its money through casinos and drug buys so that it can't be traced back to them. The money that Doug leaves behind is from a stash he had, meaning it's quite possible that if it was tied to any of his heists it would have been tied to ones he pulled before he even met Claire.
- There's also the whole 'anonymous' donation bit. Generally, the idea of an anonymous donation is that no one knows you're the one who's given it. Hence, the FBI might suspect it but not be able to prove it. Given it was named after the robber's mother, they're more likely to suspect he donated it, not her.
3. People have fallen in love for even crazier reasons. And if it was Stockholm Syndrome then that still holds up in the context of the film and Claire's actions.
- It's also worth remembering that for much of the movie, when she's actually falling in love with him, she doesn't actually know any of this, and falls for him because, from her point of view, he's a nice guy who's helping her get over a very traumatic situation. Even after learning the truth, her feelings towards him had to have been conflicted due to that; yeah, he did something very reprehensible, but then she saw something genuinely decent in him and perhaps thought that was worth redeeming him. 'A bit insane', maybe, but then again she's heavily traumatized, so we could technically argue that she is a 'bit insane'.
- I can understand the love as a tragic product of sick, sick abuse of Stockholm Syndrome. But correct me if I'm wrong-it is intended to be a legitimate romance. We're supposed to want them to succeed. THAT is what REALLY bugs me.
- No. It was never intended to be a conventional romance. The fact that it is between a bank robber and a former hostage, and ends badly between them once they find out, with Claire accusing Doug of abusing Stockholm Syndrome says as much.
- Also, it was completely consensual sex.
- It just bugs me that Frawley instantly told Claire when she asked that only the guilty need lawyers. Is that the exact opposite of the truth?
- It is the exact opposite of the truth. Everyone has a right to an attorney. However, it's almost always an interrogator's job to get people to waive Miranda, and in Frawley's case, he wanted to make sure he got every bit of information he could. What's more, considering the fact that she's a hostage who survived, the idea that she was an insider was not out of the question. So yeah, he relied on her lack of knowledge of the Constitution to get more information out of her. Immoral? Depends on how much you like cops. Illegal? Not by a longshot.
- Also, Frawley says only the guilty need lawyers. In theory, innocence can be proven without one. In addition, as previously mentioned, he was trying to psych Claire out, should she have been a co-conspirator. Remember that when he discovered she was dating Doug, he said she did need a lawyer. So he's not immoral, he's just really good at his job. He never breaks or even bends laws or regulations. He's just ruthless.
- Yeah, Frawley's just stating his own observations and opinions, not the truth. In his opinion, if you ask for a lawyer, you're guilty. That doesn't make it the truth.
- Police officers have done and said much shadier things to get information out of suspects or reluctant witnesses. It is quite possible that, had they tried to use this conversation against her in a court of law, it would have been thrown out as she was being detained (although not arrested) and had not been read her Miranda rights.
- During the final robbery, two of the robbers are dressed as cops, and are more or less staking their lives on their disguises, yet neither of them bother to shave?! Their three day stubble-beards make the cop outfits look really suspicious.
- Not really. It depends on the jurisdiction. Some enforce the dress code more than others.
- They may have been figuring that you can shave after the heist to more rapidly change your appearance than to wait for a beard to grow. I dunno.
- For most people, in a rather rushed and tense situation like that, you just see the uniform; you don't necessarily look closer unless you're given reason to.
- For what it's worth, the real Boston PD doesn't have a clean-shaven policy. Case-in-point, the famous Boston Bullpen cop
- Where exactly did the movie pull that "300 bank robberies in Boston" statistic? That's ridiculously high even for the most crime ridden cities in the world.