Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Heist [2001]

The sub-genre of heist films are dime a dozen, and are particularly popular within the Hollywood circle – especially those comprising of convoluted plots with an overload of plot twists. Directed by Pulitzer-winning playwright turned filmmaker David Mamet, Heist fell quite snugly in that category. Though, on first glance it seemed an attempt to break-away from studio conventions and be a gritty character study, by the time it got over it seemed hardly more than a genre-piece trapped within the confines of its serpentine storyline. However, fortunately, as genre-pieces go, it was at least a fun ride that managed to keep me engaged. The film starts with a bank robbery sequence that was reminiscent of Melville in general and Le Deuxieme Souffle in particular. After successfully executing that, master thief and career criminal Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) decides to retire, but is coaxed into one last job by gangster Mickey (Danny DeVito). And so he, along with his trusted team comprising of Bobby (Delroy Lindo), Pinky (Ricky Jay) and his gorgeous young wife Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon), team up with Mickey’s brash and cocky son Jimmy (Sam Rockwell), for carrying out the complex plan. Expectedly, Jimmy turns out to be the most dubious link in his chain, and before long things start deviating from his plan. The plot grows increasingly ridiculous with each new twist, as betrayals and double crosses start flowing like water from an overflown dam, leading us to the rather inane and predictable climax. Hackman, thankfully, saved the day with yet another excellent performance, along with a commendable supporting turn by DeVito.

Director: David Mamet
Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller/Post-Noir/Heist Film
Language: English
Country: US

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