Thursday, October 8, 2009

Carlito's Way

Carlito's Way
Released: 1993
Review Date: 10.7.09
Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Al Pacino (Carlito), Sean Penn (David), John Leguizamo (Benny), Luis Guzman (Pachanga), James Rebhorn (Norwalk), Joseph Siravo (Vinnie), Penelope Ann Miller (Gail).

When Carlito gets out of jail on a technicality, spending only 5 of 30 years behind bars, he vows to go straight. Struggling to follow his dream of moving to Mexico with Gail to lead a good life, every time he gets close it seems his old crime buddies suck him back in to the rackets.

This one kicks off a bit slow with substantial character development before slipping into the meat of the plot. Once this get moving the sense of frustration at watching Carlito's life slowly derail, and the suspense wondering how far it will go, is absolutely delicious. The sense of detail and inclusion built with the audience really makes you feel as if you are on the street, living the story.
Acting by Pacino was very good but also different from his style we have come to know, being much quieter in this film. Penn was mixed, having both good and bad scenes. Leguizamo and Guzman did well but felt a bit green as did Miller.
Camera work, sets, background, sound and dialogue were all nicely done and the soundtrack was quite enjoyable. Obviously this film had a good sized budget and it shows in the quality De Palma extracted.
Overall this is well worth watching so put it at the top of your Must See list if you haven't already. Plenty of violence, drug use, smoking, foul language, and sexuality so save this one for adults.

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