Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Say Hello to My Little Friend!" - Scarface

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about Scarface but can say that it did not live up to its reputation until the very end of the film. Although the movie was rather realistic and showed Tony’s growth from Cuban refugee to millionaire powerful drug dealer, the movie moved a lot slower than I expected. Some of the scenes with the money and the drug deals got a little boring while the relationships between the characters and the fight scenes were what got my attention. Tony is a strange main character in that throughout the movie, I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or not. He seemed to encompass the hero and the villain together and wasn’t really the usual likeable leading man. Most of what Tony did was for his own selfish interests and his yelling and anger got rather excessively annoying which seemed to be intentional so Al Pacino did a great job playing him. The filmmakers didn’t make Tony completely inhuman in that they showed him not wanting to kill a mother and children, how he cared about his sister (weird at the end, sweet at first) and how he considered himself a political prisoner. Yet, whether deep down Tony was a good guy or not, he was a complete money obsessed, coke head mess. As for his love interest that wasn’t the typical girl role either for both his wife and sister. Michelle Pfeiffer was impressive as a cold, snobby, coked up bitch. At the beginning, there was hope that there banter was flirting but throughout the movie it was clear that they were in a loveless relationship. Even though Tony was a complete ass it’s hard to feel bad for her character Elvira because she was clearly just in it for the money and consistent drug supply. His relationship with his sister was even weirder in that at first it was sweet that he cared for her so much and wanted to keep her innocence but to hurt every guy she’s with and to even kill his own best friend for being with her was ridiculous. The ending makes it unclear on whether or not there was a sick incestuous factor in their relationship because he did seem to be weirdly obsessed with her but mostly it could just be how far he led to her complete downfall in the world he created where she wanted to teach him a lesson. The ending scene with her walking toward him and with the house being raided with the gunfight that led to the famous quote “say hello to my little friend” was the best scene in the movie by far. The way he symbolically shoved his face in all the cocaine and then how it was mostly him against a ton of men and that he didn’t go down with a fight just concluded the movie perfectly. He had to go down eventually because it wasn’t going to be the drug dealer lived happily ever after and the director DePalma made sure he went down in a big way, as did every other main character which is rare. It’s clear that the movie was a representation of the violence in 1980’s Miami and the major cocaine boom of the decade that took the country on it’s own crazy drug adventure. Even though the music was super cheesy and it did drag on a little slow, Scarface is definitely a movie you have to see once for Al Pacino’s performance of Tony Montana or even just to quote the famous lines in the film.

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