Watching a neo noir for the first time is quite interesting since it involves a good amount of things that were in film noir, while provided modern substances in it. Also, Roman Polanski's Chinatown was a good start for me when it comes to this sub genre because it still relied on the old noir ways, while provided an intriguing story that delivers when it comes to the mystery of the characters background while providing me with a modernized feel when it comes to everything that was part of the movie.
First, the plot of the story was pretty modernized, which surprised me a lot since I pretty much not knew what I was going on story wise for the most part except for the main summary that the TV provided me which basically told me that J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) was stuck in a messy water conflict on in the Los Angeles area, which intrigued me a lot since a lot of film noir films back in the day didn't use a water conflict as part of the plot at all. Another thing that I really like about the plot is the layers of how dark the water conflict was and how much secrets are provided throughout the whole entire film when it comes to this one main particular event besides the dark secrets that both of the main characters do have. Finally, the subtle foreshadowing that this film provides is so creative to me when it comes to telling who the main person who started this was very creative since everyone in this film is pretty much dangerous for the most part and the only way I figure out who the killer was mainly based off my cinematic knowledge of a particular actor, but I won't mention who it is since it will spoil the fun of watching the movie if a person hasn't seen this film before.
Second, the acting that Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson provided in this film just made me feel in awe about how good there performances are. One example of how good both of them are in the film is the chemistry between both of the characters is so realistic for people who haven't met each other at all until horrific circumstances has gotten them to together even thought one of them was a husband to someone well know in the community , while one of them is a typical newspaper reporter who is trying to find the scoop in the town. Another example of how amazing both of their acting is in this movie is whenever they are not together they both excel to giving it their all and I will give you examples on both of them in this movie. When it comes to Faye Dunaway, she literally nails the female fatale role and I feel like she knows her character so well when it comes to composing a image on her that is not all what it seems. Also, when it comes Jack Nicholson, he literally makes you feel like you know him when it comes to motives, while providing a modern spin to leading man in the film noir on this film. Personally, there is so much to say about those two acting skills in the movie and watching both of them act together is one of the reasons why this film is a masterpiece to me besides the plot of the story.
Finally, the cinematography and the way Roman Polanski uses the camera during this film were quite creative and it made the film even more interesting to watch. First, the cinematograph literally reflects the whole tone of the movie, which I found very interesting. Second, I love the little camera work references that Polanski did with when it came to honoring Hitchcock with the various movies that he does that feature that iconic shot that Hitchcock has done in Rope, Rear Window, and other movies that he done before he has died. Finally, I found that the camera angles that he used to be quite creative when it comes to framing the shot and he used them brilliantly when it comes to conveying a mood as well.
If you haven't seen a neo noir film, this film has got it all when it comes to creating a familiar vibe that film noir fans love except its more modernization, while providing a great mystery along with brilliant camerawork and acting that has made this movie a neo-noir masterpiece in my mind.