Veronica Guerin and the pursuit of truth

What would you do if you saw five-year-olds playing with syringes? If you met 15-year-old prostitutes who would rather have heroin in their veins than a hot meal? Would you put your life on hold? Put your family’s life in danger?

Putting your own life in danger for the ultimate truth may not be logical. But trying to change things for the better and trying to make people care (when they don’t) is almost the most selfless thing a person can do, especially when you’re doing it for the common good, and not for yourself. Welcome to the world of a reporter.

And welcome to a wonderful new film called “Veronica Guerin,” which premiered everywhere on Oct. 17.

Based on a true story, and the death of a true heroine, Veronica Guerin is a story about a journalist in the early 90s, who takes on the crime and underground drug beat of Dublin and riskes everything, in search of the truth.

During 1994, Guerin follows the drug beat and watches closely as the fight for ultimate control between Irish drug lords begin to eat a generation alive.

She ultimately realizes who the man in charge is and goes after him directly. There were extremely emotional scenes, one in particular, which surprised the audience the most. Guerin visits the drug lords’ home (John Gilligan), and instead of receiving a quote, receives quite a beating.

This particular scene reminds the audience that a reporter’s job is always fifty-fifty. The outcome can either become very good, or become overwhelmingly bad.

Golden Globe winner Cate Blanchett, who portrays Guerin, was an excellent candidate for this role. Famous for playing gutsy roles in the past, such as “Charlotte Gray” and “Elizabeth,” she was able to grab hold of the character and really convince the audience that she was in fact, Veronica Guerin.

Yet another character, who turned the viewer’s stomach, was the drug lord, John Gilligan (Gerard McSorley). It’s been a long time since an evil character has turned my stomach. But McSorley portrays this volatile man so well, that you can’t help but truly hate him.

I recommend this movie for not only members of the media, but for anyone who believes that truth, in any form is a human right. Reporters live by that, and so did Veronica Guerin.

There is a scene in the movie, in which Guerin is talking to another reporter and she is asked, after being injured once by drug dealers, why she didn’t just quit. She replies, “I can’t. What would that say for journalism if I just gave up? I can’t. That would mean that they’ve won. And they’re not going to win.”

That was the kind of spirit that Veronica Guerin had, and the kind of spirit that reached out to her readers and inspired this movie to be made. It’s the same spirit that reached out to me and made me fall in love with this movie.

I loved this movie, not only because I am a journalist, but also because like Guerin, it makes you believe that anything in this world is possible. Even the pursuit of truth.