Saturday, March 06, 2010

"Brooklyn's Finest" (2010) - Movie Review

David Ayer’s script of “Training Day” brought director Antoine Fuqua along with a Denzel Washington as the snaky detective giving a lesson about thing or two on the streets of LA to Ethan Hawke’s character. Ayer went onto to write and direct “Harsh Times” another cop drama which invited Christian Bale to another weird ex-Army Ranger wasting the time and putting his friend’s life in the same streets of LA. In both of these films there are disturbed cops and two actors getting attracted to those two people most feared and most confused personalities. There is a liking to these characters from the actors and so does “Brooklyn’s Finest” bringing Antoine Fuqua to direct a similar genre of his finer film and bring in some talented actors.

Three cops, different careers, different family back ground but the mental anxiety, stress and the nervousness of their next action are common. The film begins with that regulatory scene where a character begins talking about a thing or an incident which would have a sudden end and it is not good. The surviving character is Ethan Hawke as Sal, a religious detective on money crunch. Don Cheadle is the undercover cop Tango and he has been in the drug chain long enough that the first thing when a cop pulls over, he wants to pop them. He needs out. Finally is Richard Gere as Officer Eddie Dugan, seven days shy of retirement and cannot wait it to be over. He is alone and yes has a favourite prostitute (Shannon Kane) to confide. All three are put in breaking situations and the outcome leads on to the other to finally have three endings in the same location as one would have guessed.

There is a grit in the film and the actors sweating out with all possible they can bring it in. Ethan Hawke stands out as this frenzied detective leading a family life and has kids more than one could count of while his wife (Lili Taylor) is expecting. The house is old and he needs a new house. With the pay as a police, he can barely make it and now he has to move. The result is to lay the hands on the drug money making mistakes which are as obvious it can be. He is hooked on to it and is almost a junkie to the fact that he has long forgotten the need for the money. Hawke gives out his usual best and is great to watch him. His friend and colleague Ronny (Brian F.O’Byrne) knows his friend is up to something and their interactions are loomed with anytime shocking outcome.

Gere and Cheadle work in laid back mode. Cheadle especially has done a similar role in “Traitor” and cannot erase the similarities in the situations of those two. Wesley Snipes appears in his sporadic films and as Tango’s prison buddy Caz, their sequences have a certain professional outlook in their gangster dialogues. Richard Gere for a chance breaks off his sharpness and come as this “see no evil” cop, representing every ordinary citizen. He has kept his work straight and without events for twenty-two years. A rookie cop questions this attitude which puts the man at unrest.

It is evident so far in this review that the film is an actor’s arena and they take it. Though the editing keeps online and in those first line of simultaneous events for these three, they drag the audience towards the screen. “Brooklyn’s Finest” was well on the way to become one of the best flick for the beginning of 2010 (strangely the film was bought in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and got the light of tunnel now) and it does not stumble its way to doom but could not keep its created finesse till the end.
It is a better film, a well made movie deserves to earn those actors on the screen. It brings back the genre which takes a grim look and a tough stance to present and divide the screen, with and without prejudice. The heartbeat is consistent, uniform and takes the tempo as it can and always keeps us on hold intentionally. The characters every one of them come together at the scenario and gain attention if and only it is needed. There are not mistakes overall, just that the nature of the best raises the expectation.

Anotine Fuqua can be content with the outcome. And I did enjoy the film to a great detail. Watching actors do their best is a passion at work. When that is understood by an audience, the feeling is orgasmic. To be on that plane where those people putting up the film is an experience. It is too precious and personal that despite whatever the actor/director/writer did not intend becomes significant and however immaterial they would have treated becomes a treasure. There are several of those in “Brooklyn’s Finest” to make it a good film. Could have been the best though.

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