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Film / Veronica Guerin

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Veronica Guerin is a 2003 Irish biographical crime film directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role. The film focuses on Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, whose investigation into the drug trade in Dublin led to her murder in 26 June 1996 by drug lords, an event which helped establish the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Tropes included:

  • Actor IS the Title Character
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The real-life Veronica Guerin looked a bit more like Brenda Fricker as her mother here than Cate Blanchett, although Blanchett does manage to tone down her glamourous appearance in the film.
  • Based on a True Story
  • Bittersweet Ending: Veronica is dead, but her murder has brought about the establishment of the Criminal Assets Bureau and those responsible for her death are eventually arrested.
  • Country Matters: Gilligan repeatedly screams "cunt!" at Veronica as he hits her.
  • Disconnected by Death: Veronica is in the middle of a phone call to a colleague when she's shot.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The opening scene is of Veronica's license being reinstated, after having been revoked for speeding. This is apparently a frequent occurrence, as the next scene is of her mother in church, praying that this doesn't happen.
  • Dark Mistress: Despite his drug lord status, his infidelity, and the implication that he's hit her (even if not, he certainly threatens to in one scene), Gilligan's wife appears quite content with him and fully supportive of his criminal lifestyle, as evidenced by the pleased expression she gets watching her husband beat up Veronica.
    • She also clearly doesn't give a damn that her husband is dealing with a product that is killing people, but bawls when the government seizes her beloved horses, as they were bought with drug money.
  • Female Misogynist: Other women say some unflattering things about Veronica, and Gilligan's wife smiles as she watches her husband beat and verbally abuse her.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Aside from beginning with a depiction of Guerin's murder, her fate should be known to anyone who knows her story.
  • For Want of a Nail: Veronica steps out of her study seconds before a bullet is fired through the window, saving her and her son's lives. She survives the next attempt on her life when the assassin's gun jams, giving her just enough time to dive to the floor, taking the bullet to her leg rather than her head.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Gilligan makes a particularly repulsive and frightening one to Veronica after beating her up, telling her he's going to kidnap and rape her son, then slit her throat.
  • He Knows Too Much: Veronica was killed either because she was going to expose Traynor as her source, which would have certainly meant his death, or because she insisted on pressing charges against Gilligan for assaulting her.
  • How We Got Here: The movie begins with a depiction of Guerin's murder, then flashes back to two years earlier, when she began her work investigating the drug trade.
  • Idiot Ball: Not that Guerin deserved to be beaten, but what was she thinking going to confront an Irish mob boss on her own?
  • The Informant: John Traynor, Gilligan's Dragon, begins providing Veronica with information on his business.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Guerin continues to investigate despite the danger, determined to bring down the gangsters bringing drugs into the city.
  • Irish Accents
  • The Irish Mob
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Veronica is in the middle of a phone call with a colleague when she's shot. Truth in Television.
  • Sad-Times Montage: After Veronica is killed, we get one of everyone—her coworkers, her mother, her husband and child—learning of her death.
  • Scenery Gorn: Aside from the realistic depiction of urban and suburban life, the film doesn't hesitate to delve into the slums of Dublin.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Gilligan beats Veronica and it's implied he's hit his wife and mistress as well.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Gilligan outright threatens Veronica's son if she doesn't stop her work.