Sunday, 26 December 2010
The American 
Plot-wise, as many critics have complained, The American might seem woefully short. There aren’t many twists in the tale, and the ones that are present, are easy to guess if you’ve watched a few movies. Yet, what makes this film interesting is that it is a departure from the fast, action-a-minute thrillers that we’ve become so accustomed to. Moody, evocative and absorbing are few of the adjectives that can be associated with the European-style movie despite it being a thriller. When a job for middle-aged contract killer goes awry, forcing him to execute his fiancé, he’s forced to retreat to the tiny Italian town. He’s determined not to be noticed, but he ends up striking friendship with a priest, and slowly but surely also finds himself falling for the beautiful hooker that he frequents out of necessity. And when these make him want to quit the business of cloak-and-dagger, things don’t turn out as planned. George Clooney is excellent as the laconic, loner, naturally paranoid and highly competent American hit-man, while Violante Placido gives the film its human element as the lovely local prostitute wanting to get out of her decrepit life. The movie is beautifully paced, exquisitely shot, and quite enriching, and though nothing much is displayed for large parts of the time, they play vital roles in showing the protagonist’s sense of ennui, loneliness, self-imposed discipline and a strong current of distrust and paranoia.
Director: Anton Corbijin
Genre: Thriller/Existential Thriller/Romantic Thriller