Monday, January 24, 2005

collateral [IMDB page]

Michael Mann's ode to nighttime LA opens with the usual corporate logos drained of all colour. And then(sans credits) unfolds the narrative from night till dawn -- cab driver Max(Foxx) finds himself driving Vincent (Cruise), a hired killer from one hit to another, as he tries to grapple for a way to extricate himself from this unfortunate assignment. This is the kind of plot that works well as an assignment to see how different filmmakers would adapt and present the material. If you've seen previous Mann films like Manhunter and Heat (or even The Insider), you won't be too surprised at the rewards from his approach. The dramatically coloured lighting, the framing, the cutting, and the mix of a background score and diegetic music collaborate to elevate "L.A. at night" to the status of an organic component of the film. You could sit back and try and think of other ways to make this movie, but Mann gets it just right most of the time. The third act predictably suffers from the role it is expected to play in any film, but the closure is not too disappointing. Ultimately, everything else that has transpired, visually, aurally and narratively, makes this one movie I really wish I had seen in the theatres. Imagine that! I wanted to watch a Tom Cruise movie in the hall. From my POV, that's saying a lot.

Now if only I could get my hands on Crime Story (viewers of the old Star Plus may recall this TV show starring Dennis Farina that featured Del Shannon's addictive Runaway) and Miami Vice.

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