Money's at the center of this Chinatown: Cross has a lot of it and wants more; Jake is working as a P.I. in order to get it; Noah's cronies and henchmen are all money motivated.
But money's valuable not just because it can get you nifty things, but because it can help you gain power and control. That seems to be what really motivates Noah. He admits he already has more than ten million dollars, but he wants to own "the future"—he knows that the money he'll gain from controlling the water supply will help him dominate and direct the future of L.A.
Questions About Greed
How does Jake feel about the work he does for a living? Does he really feel that it's an honest way to make money, or not?
Can someone who's as rich as Noah Cross "get away with anything"? Is that what the movie is saying? Explain.
Considering how old Noah is, does it make sense for him to pursue money and power this way, given the fact that he's probably going to die at some point in the not-so-distant future?
Noah wants to control the future, but why do his cronies in the water department help him out—just for money, or might they have other motives?
Chew on This
Chinatown demonstrates that money is the root of all evil.
Chinatown demonstrates that the lust for power is the root of all evil, and search for money is just one form of that greater lust.