I have to admit, I almost turned off the DVD in the first 10 minutes of the movie. I was expecting a fast-paced car chase action flick, and I was not seeing anything of the sort. But I kept watching the movie. Something small had grabbed my interest. Maybe it was the strong silent treatment we were getting from the primary character. Maybe it was the little boy who refused to blink. I really don’t know what that element was, but it managed to grab my attention enough that I kept watching, and kept watching, and before I knew it I found myself emotionally invested in the story that was slowly unfolding in front of me. This was not a car chase movie, but rather it was a love story, but a love story with a mob connection. The worst part of this whole movie, aside from the horrid 80’s flashback font for the credits, was that in the end the boy doesn’t get the girl, and nobody really knows what happens.
This is a very character driven film, and the lead is a character with surprisingly few lines, and the ones he has surprisingly few on words. You could almost write the character off as being simple, and his deadpan facial expressions really leave you wondering on more than one occasion. Yet somehow, even with so few words something brilliant comes out in the character. Maybe it is the smile of joy, or the look of anguish at doing something that he knows will likely cost him the girl. I don’t know what it is, but the actor did a brilliant job of conveying so very much with body language and expression.
The characters aren’t anybody special, just average people living their daily lives in Los Angeles. They aren’t glamorous model types in any way, simply normal folks doing their best to survive. What made it so special was the actors who really put character into these characters. They really made them come to life, and in the end you had no problem seeing them as somebody just like you. Brilliant job in accomplishing that connection, and I think that this connection, and the brilliance in making the characters so real is what ultimately led to my finding this movie so appealing.
I know that what I am describing isn’t anything that will drive you to want to see the movie, at least not if you are wanting to see a movie like what I thought I was going to be watching. I know that the movie is not likely to become a permanent resident in my collection, but it is one that I am likely to rent from time to time, maybe every few years when I have a hankering for some deep character driven stories. Now if that is the type of movie you like, and you aren’t afraid of some graphic violence in a couple of scenes, then I cannot encourage you strongly enough to give it a try.