Week One Questions

2

The first character that caught my interest was one of the suspects in the tutorial, Edgar Kalou. Kalou is a Jewish businessman who suffers constant harassment because of his religion, in a society still obsessed with WWII. Kalou shoots the tutorial case’s victim, Everett Gage, after dealing with constant harassment and sabotage of his business for a long time beforehand. The fact that Kalou simply “snaps” after taking months of abuse makes him a much more sympathetic murderer than many of the other suspects in the game.

Edgar Kalou reminds me of Shylock from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”, because both characters share a religion and are heavily defined by it. Both characters suffer abuse and are looked upon within the text with little sympathy, but are much more sympathetic to a modern day reader. Both characters do bad things, but it can be argued that they are “pushed” towards their actions by the actions of others.

The second character who caught my interest was Finbarr “Rusty” Galloway, who acts as the third partner to the main character Cole Phelps. Phelp’s partners are always more experienced police officers who are assigned to show Phelps the ropes in each new area of the force. Rusty is a very stereotypical character in a Noire type text – a bitter and flawed police officer who still tries to do the right thing for the most part. In spite of making repeated sexist remarks on topics such as domestic violence, he expresses horror and disgust at a young girl’s rape and several brutal murders of women. Interestingly, Galloway would seem to be more like the classic protagonist of a Noire book or film than Phelps.
Rusty Galloway reminds me of Jimmy McNulty from “The Wire” (2008). Both are loud, arrogant and disrespectful, as well as heavy drinkers who still manage to take their jobs very seriously and want to keep people safe. In connection to Galloway being very similar to a “classic” film noire protagonist, McNulty is the main character (admittedly on an ensemble cast) of “The Wire”.

Tzvetan Todorov (1977) divided the detective genre into three sections: the “whodunit”, the “thriller” and the “suspense” texts. LA Noire is definitely a “whodunit” type text, as at the beginning of each level, we are shown a murder or other incident taking place, and then we spend the level piecing all of the information together who caused the incident, why and how. Therefore, the murder or incident is just as important as the events that come afterwards.

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Comments

  1. DanOrton / Mar 18th, 2012 21:51 Quote

    I hadn’t done the tutorial of the game this time through because I’ve already played the game, so I completely missed and forgotten Kalou! I remember not liking that first case much at all because I just didn’t connect with the thinking of the character. I can understand that his motive was racial abuse, but I simply brushed over it given that it is set in 1950s America — a country that at this time (and arguably still) is a very racist country. I suspected him of committing the murder as soon as his character profile was revealed, and thus I wasn’t really surprised by the outcome. I also remember that ‘mission’ being pretty straight forward — with the guy just throwing the gun in the bin outside his shop!

    The Merchant of Venice is one of the few Shakespeare plays that I have not had the (unfortunate) pleasure of reading. As far as race is concerned in Shakespeare’s plays, I think you could also loosely relate him to Othello (from a play of the same name), as he also suffers racial abuse in Venice — however this isn’t necessarily the motives behind his trauma in the play (although it could be argued was raising racial awareness at the time).

  2. Emily / Mar 18th, 2012 23:56 Quote

    i also spoke about Kalou’s surprising characteristics despite being a murderer. he didn’t exactly seem to regret what he did but the emphasis on his cocky exterior really does edge towards him feeling bad on the inside.

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