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Word Count: 696
As a classic detective movie Chinatown involves a hard-boiled setting and a private investigator The story takes place in Los Angeles California during the 1930s The mood of the film is typical of that of a detective story and the gradual discovery of clues completes the films mysterious atmosphere Though the detective myth is at first followed Director Roman Polanski quickly deviates from the typical story line Instead of gaining more control over the situation through clues and increased knowledge our detective falls more deeply into the web of helplessness The wrongdoing in Chinatown is not limited to one person Instead an entire society revolves around an individual whose level of evil greatly outweighs any one mans quest for justiceThe one man in the case of Chinatown is J J Gittes a typical private eye His cool and calm attitude matches his suit and clean-shaven face indicating a businessman who is always in control As the audience might expect Gittes was once a member of the police force and he still has close ties to the law His independence from law enforcement however helps to define what and who he is On a deeper level Mr Gittes is different from other private investigators Divorce work something most private eyes avoid is J Js specialty Gittes treats his job as a job and he puts aside the sense of honor common to Hollywood private eyes Also unlike most traditional detective depictions J J Gittes is not a truly lonely man As an example although he has an array of liquors in his office he only uses them for his clients As the movie continues Gittes takes the role of the seeker of true justice rather than the enforcer of institutionalized law This shift of roles begins when a thug slices JJs Gittess nose Though the actual cutting scene is very serious and even somewhat frightening the resulting bandage on Gittess nose acts as a comic relief
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