IMDb Rating: 7,4/10
Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History
Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: Dan Futterman, Gerald Clarke
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
When a case that happened to the Clutter family ended in the murder of two perpetrators who had no motive on November 15, 1959, United States was shocked by the case which also drew an attention from Truman Capote to lead a study and make it as reference for his next book as one of the greatest classic all times, “In Cold Blood.” In this film, we look further at how Truman Capote tried to approach the two perpetrators by directing various interviews with them. Based on a true story, this biopic tells about Truman Capote of being in a circumstances on both sides: does he want to save the perpetrator after knowing the real motive or using them both as the next project?
Famed writer Truman Capote, southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959, cold-blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle Harper Lee, also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. Truman hopes to use his celebrity status to gain access to whomever he needs, such as to Laura Kinney, a friend of the Clutter daughter she who discovered the bodies, and to Alvin Dewey, the lead police investigator and also a Clutter family friend. If his celebrity doesn’t work, Truman will grease the wheels by whatever means necessary. When the police eventually charge suspects, two young men named Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith, Truman uses those same tactics to gain access to them. Truman’s fascination with the story makes him believe that he can revolutionize writing by expanding the germ of the article into what he calls a non-fiction novel. His personal involvement also changes as he grows emotionally attached to Perry, the seemingly sensitive and thus probable submissive in the criminal pairing, thus Truman becoming part of the story itself. Article or non-fiction novel, Truman knows that he has to take it to its natural conclusion, something which he cannot force. But also missing are the details of the November 14, 1959 event itself, something that neither Dick or Perry have divulged even in testimony.
“In Cold Blood” itself is one of the best and final works of Truman Capote. His book also exploded in the market even regularly praised as a new journalism which combines the writing style journalism and literature. In this movie, “Capote” himself also tells about how the process of finding the material for the book. He was happy but he also regretted which he didn’t want to write another book since “In Cold Blood.” Although as much as possible trying to free Perry Smith, which will end in the galore, in the end, prove can’t be moved on by itself because the evidence clearly indicates that Perry Smith deserved it. As Truman Capote said to Perry Smith that he wanted to create a human being character in his book so that the world didn’t assume that Perry Smith was a monster. At the last second of his life, after Capote attended Perry Smith condemned to hang, he felt the burdens were gone but stayed to disturb him.
The opening scene is presented as a marker that this movie has a gloomy and dark impression. Not too but it can be proven from the Kansas, Holcomb city always seems depressing each of the frames. Each of the frames feels like an emotion of fear itself if this movie was not a happy-theme movie but a depression and fear of equity concerned. Truman Capote is a person with an unpredictable characteristic of what is in his mind and what he really wants to do. His soul who aspired to help Perry Smith because he saw that he had a dark history of background indicated the feelings of Capote who wanted to save him like a human being. But, in the depths of his deepest heart, Capote actually didn’t care and did not want to save Perry Smith because he only saw himself as one of the roots which could change the worldview. Truman Capote also was previously successful through his books such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, “Other Voices,” “Other Rooms,” and “The Grass Harp.” That success also signifies an urge to create a new work which makes a murder in Holcomb as his next book.
Truman Capote relationship with Perry Smith is really good, close, and tries to uncover a “dark side” between Truman Capote and Perry Smith which is truly ambitious in his book. “In Cold Blood” itself was also written in a very long period of time and not to mention, his sin before he released the book also seemed to want to die inside so he had never made a book since “In Cold Blood.” Truman Capote as Philip Seymour Hoffman is said to have a very unique way of reviving the figure of this famous writer, starting from his gesture, his nature, his unique way of speaking, sound, characteristic all of those are really highlighted. Catherine Keener as Nelle Harper Lee wasn’t too exposed to her character despite her performance as Harper Lee also one of the best-known writers seems plentiful. As one of Capote’s best friends, Harper Lee became one of the characters who played quite well as a plot device when Capote was always in hard times, Harper Lee always came to embrace him. Although one of the important characters, Mark Pellegrino as Dick Hickock didn’t take too many lines. In this case, “Capote” only focuses on the relationship between Truman Capote and Perry Smith.
“Capote” is a biopic based on a process from one of the best classic works ever made, “In Cold Blood.” Again, this movie isn’t too special in various aspects, especially some memorable scenes which discuss a little reference about Humphrey Bogart and take a little background in 1960 before “To Kill a Mockingbird” was released. Not much can be said about this movie apart from the truly mesmerizing acting yet “unique” from Philip Seymour Hoffman. One kudos for him and a tribute to himself. “Capote” is a movie which it resembles at one case with two different points of view. I don’t know what “In Cold Blood” is like but I’ll try to read the novel and it seems like there is a movie too.