Hmm. I thought I wrote something for this. I guess not.
So this is a movie that I read about afterwards to substantiate my feelings, because I didn’t want to feel unsure about what I thought. It wasn’t phenomenal. The action is thrilling, haha it’s a Luc Besson thriller, shouldn’t have expected anything less. I gave it 3 stars. I guess the late night Ebert review obscured my memory, I did NOT write anything about this movie. Partly because I didn’t want to just critique. Praise is so much easier (see my obscene gushing over Whiplash below), but dislike should engender greater introspection. Scary quesiton: Is part of my dislike derivative of some kind of repressed xenophobia? Jean Reno, the actor who plays Leon, is wonderful as the naive, but also deadly hitman looking out for the crafty, but also vulnerable Mathilda, played by a young Natalie Portman. Reno’s portrayal of the immigrant’s struggle to adapt in America instigated a possibly childhood resentment towards my own parents’ immigrant struggles at assimilation. Each blunder represented a backwards step away from what my mind desired completely: conformity to an advertised American ideal. Although I’ve long since discarded that artificial ideal, I guess lingering sentiments still cling in my subconscious. Leon’s flaws don’t exist solely in my subconscious though. Watching it, I often felt that the film lacked a foundation or purpose in its developments. The acting was great, and so was the directing. Most conspicously offputting was the relationship between Mathilda and Leon. It wasn’t interesting enough to observe objectively because the movie was so blunt in what it told the audience, leaving no room for interpretation. God I’m idiotic as fuck because there is some nuance to their relation. Just not enough for me to pick up on. All I saw was a little girl with an Electra Complex and a lonely older man who takes up this little girl to fulfill some kind of gap in his heart. Y’know, the honorable desire to father a child or whatnot.
A great visual movie, since some movies are not visual. God I’m bad at describing. I meant to say it has great visual references, and is just a fun movie to watch. The Magritte kissing scene was the best in all the movies I’ve watched. Because there are many Magritte kissing scenes. I meant it was a great kissing scene. God. On a second viewing (did not finish yet) I saw the Isle of the Dead painted by Arnold Blocklin (thanks google) in silhouette. Those are the only two I recognized.
Besides the references, I loved the movie because it had metaphors on a level easy enough for me to interpret! Yay. It also had a Donnie Darko atmosphere. Whole world of his creation. Surreal events throughout displays this. The weather suddenly changing. Beautiful women seemingly dropping out of the sky. The detective’s complete obliviousness to Francesco’s guilt. The hospital scene with Franco. But the most obvious proof of this is when things in Francesco’s life change. A new mayor, a women’s rejection, a switch to killing the living. These things change and you can see how it effects the MC-and Buffaralo. No evidence rn.
Gnaghi is his alter ego, lives beneath him, in his subconscious. Represents his fear of judgement, public perception paranoia, see how people launch at him to blame for those 7 murders. Francesco loves it when the sky rains. Gnaghi likes it when the sun shines. Gnaghi is more animalistic, eating with his hands and grunting, unable to talk. Anyways, this guy is really insecure. The rumor about his impotence also shows this, as well as the guys who tease him when he comes into town. Francesco’s character is his conscious self, who adopts an indifference and nihilistic veneer as an identity. You can see how Gnaghi reflects this. He is simple, joyful, and possesses things that Francesco lacks. Physical perfection (yes perfection, Rupert Everett is amazing) nope. But he’s clever, constructing the skull with ease and deconstructing it to protect Dellamorte’s frail ego. Ugh
analyze the rest later(there’s a lot), honestly too lazy rn
To disclaim, there’s an infinite amount of religious sides of myself out there. This isn’t one of them. This is just a quote.
“This world is not a place where we can be happy. It wasn’t created for man’s happiness, though many believe this is the reason of our existence. I think we are here to fight, so that good and evil can clash within us, and good may prevail, thus enriching us spiritually. It’s difficult to say whether we are happy or not: it doesn’t depend on us… There are times when one regrets being born, but life also gives us surprising things that, alone, are worth living. The issue of happiness doesn’t exist for me: happiness as such doesn’t exist.”Andrei Tarkovsky
When I first read this I couldn’t even feel it. I let it pass by like a stranger in a corridor- like an indoor breeze. I still don’t feel it going through me. It’s left on this page, exhumed from my original save point (a tumblr draft) and taken to this blog in hopes of a restoration toward a time when I can read it and know.