Sunday, 26 August 2012


What can be said about a movie and a performance that hasn't been said before. I remember seeing this movie right after a few days of seeing The Godfather II. I was most impressed my the subtle and alarmingly dangerous persona created by Al Pacino as Michael in that film. Needless to say I wasn't expecting much when I sat down to watch Scarface thinking to myself that this is just another over blown film about violence which will have to sensibilities to it and will always play the brutal violence card with a minor plot to revolve around, as an excuse.

But I was terribly wrong on all aspects. The way the movie starts is I think absolutely brilliant. The 360 shot with Al's character just sitting there and trying to plead a case of innocence and trying to get a free pass to America is very well shot. Looking at Al Pacino in this film really blew me away as to how fine an actor he really is.

The main aspect to any such role of a gangster is the body language. Al is not a big guy and neither has an intimidating stature, so as to compensate for these factors he more than fills up on the confidence. This cocky outlook really takes the character to believable heights and adds that sense of gangster perspective you expect when watching such a film. Going from something so subtle and calculative to a character such as this who is strictly instinctive and brash is a fabulous transition. I was like a fool, trying to find hints of Micahel in Tony, as I always try to compare roles played by an actor just to figure their method and quirks, but no matter how much I tried I couldn't find that link and that shows the variety of Al Pacino as an actor.

The direction of the film is good but it has that 80's style of treatment to it, which takes away that classic factor from it. It adds a sense of nostalgia when I watch it but I would prefer a film which ages well. The violence in the film is actually very good and there are plenty of instances which make for really satisfying viewing.

For a film which is mostly in your face there are lots of subtle yet heavy moments. The way Tony reacts when he sees his sister dancing in the club with a guy, the rage that fills him up is an amazing moment and shows how emotional the character of Tony really is. This contradicts perfectly with the  brash and insensitive  side of the character which has been the focus till that point in the film. Another fine and particularly well directed moment is that of the death of Tony. As he falls in to the shallow water after being riddled with bullets and that final blow to his back, the camera pans up to reveal the globe with the saying "The world is yours". That is a fantastic and clever way to end the movie, it represents the irony of the life of a man obssesed with power and blinded by rage who wants to rule the world but lies dead at the very place he once ruled. Maybe Tony dies before he is actually killed, for the fact that he killed his best friend and his sister died in his own arms.

Somewhere this movie had a lot of shades to it which resounded the culture of that era but the lessons to be learnt are still relevant even though the times have changed. More than anything this will be one of Al Pacino's best performances to this date and will always be remembered for Tony and his way of life. I can't resist my friends, I have to say it, "Say hello to my little friend!". 

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