The Good Shepherd


Why is it that people like us choose to serve for nickels a day in a profession that makes us constantly look over our shoulders for whose watching us?

Loosely based on real events that occurred before and during the Cold War, this film is perhaps one of the best accounts of the early days of the CIA. Edward Wilson (a very emotionless Matt Damon) hides secrets as a young boy and as he grows, he turns keeping secrets into a profession. From Yale, he is recruited by the Skull and Bones Society and then into the FBI where he works as a counter intelligence operative. Soon he becomes one of the elite few who have a hand in setting up the CIA. The film masterfully explores how secrets take their toll on a person and his family.

One of the things that I loved about the film was the pacing. From a slow start, it gradually turns into a very engrossing thriller. It’s amazing how an actor such as Robert De Niro has mastered the art of direction as well. You immediately know that this is one of those pet projects into which a lot of work has gone.

I almost didn’t watch this because of the lukewarm critical reaction and I think the reason it wasn’t received as well as it should have was because of its length. We are a generation plagued by short attention spans.

A great history lesson; a flawed yet amazing film. 8.5/10


12 Responses to “The Good Shepherd”

  1. 1 Joe Kulangara

    good to know we’re on the same page when it comes to this movie.

  2. 2 Joe Kulangara

    i was looking through the comments under my review , and here’s an interesting one from you:

    “Somehow this film doesn’t interest me …I like Damon and De Niro but I’m afraid it’ll be too long and plodding.

    Isn’t 8/10 a bit too much.”

  3. We are a generation plagued by short attention spans.

    We as in Indians, with no Bollywood movie less than 2.5 hours = 150 minutes? What are you talking about PS?

  4. @Joe Um yea …this flick has been on my comp for a long time now and boy am i glad i finally got around to seeing it!!

    @guru well…with every bollywood movie having a song and dance routine every 5 minutes…yeah we do have short attention spans. besides..Hindi flicks which never had any songs have never done all that well.

    but i wasn’t talking about Indians in specific.

  5. 5 Joe Kulangara

    @Guru: i side with PS on this one. as an aspiring film-maker (sic), i am permanently pissed at the fact that slow paced films do not draw the crowds anymore.

  6. @ PS and Joe: Well here’s what I believe. More than 60% of the people out there don’t go to a movie wanting to go to that movie. It all depends on the trailers before and some key elements in this society. Have you read the book – “The Turning Point”? Essentially there are 3 elements to make something viral

    So, as long as you get those 3 elements right, your movie is gonna be a hit – independent of whether it’s slow, fast, dull, dud doesn’t matter!!

  7. 7 Joe Kulangara

    @guru: you’re kidding me right?!!

  8. @ Guru: My guru… can u share ur gyan on the 3 points too ? wud love that! ohh n kinda lazy to read the book! so mind sharing? 😀

    Oh n i totally agree wid the short attention span! But cant balme any of em! You watch a movie for entertainment… After all the “attention” u giv for work n other factors of life… Who wants to giv too much attention to a movie???

  9. @ A: It’s the Tipping Point btw – by the one and only Malcolm Gladwell and here’s a link that you might find useful. And try the book it’s awesome.. well it changed my whole idea about marketing and it has helped me getting some ideas across a mass set of people as well =)!

    The Tipping Point

    And here’s a Wikipedia link explaining the various type of people =)

    Wiki link for The Tipping Point

  10. @ Guru: Hey thanx for dat! Will chek out the book if I get my hands on it! 😀 Thanx again

  11. 11 noconvolutions

    —Why is it that people like us choose to serve for nickels a day in a profession that makes us constantly look over our shoulders for whose watching us?—

    co-incidence dude.just today i was complaining about my work to one of my colleagues and this is exactly what i wanted to say!
    at present with least dev work ,thisz how i feel when the f***** peeps into my monitor each time i’ve opened wikipedia/ibnlive!

  12. @noconvolutions I understand jackass. I hate it when losers peek into what I’m doing! aaargh!

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