Saturday 25 October 2008

Miller's Crossing [1990]

The Coen Broth
ers revel in the genre of crime movies. But Miller’s Crossing was their most formal gangster movie; prohibition, Mafiosi,bootleggers, Tommy guns, impeccably dressed gangsters and henchmen – that’s quintessential gangster cinema for you. Gabriel Byrne stars as an intelligent right-hand man of a volatile Irish gang leader, who upon being thrown out, plays his former boss against an equally volatile (and brilliantly enacted) Italian gangster in a manner reminiscent of the Kurosawa masterpiece Yojimbo. Throw in a dangerously cunning bookmaker (John Turturro), and a troubled lady capable of igniting the sparks, and what you get is a rounded story with enough angles, allusions and evocative character plays to engage the discerning viewers. Shorn completely of the dark humour or quirky iconoclasm generally associated with the Coens’ movies, Miller’s Crossing is a heartfelt homage to one of America’s greatest film genres. Filmed mostly using brown filters to present a somber world of crime and retribution, and aided by a well-etched narrative with some well-devised plot developments, this is a finely executed movie where, what in lesser hands might have appeared clichéd or dated, work very well.

Director: Ethan & Joel Coen
Genre: Drama/Gangster Drama/Crime Drama
Language: English
Country: US

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