Life shows no mercy for the weak. Cognizance about everythin has become mandatory to survive. Get a piece of everythin that life has in the offering ! i share all that i know to help others know what i know. we stay together , we survive. welcome to candor corner. know. share. survive. always with candor, Praveen Chandar

Friday, December 7, 2007

Does American Gangster make a classic ?

Hi film buffs and fans,

Ever since this Ridley Scott film was announced, it raised expectations for more than a few reasons. The first one being that it starred two of the recent Academy Award winners, Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. And secondly, that the movie was based on a true story, that of Frank Lucas. I was even taken back by the fact that the film starred Denzel in the title role, which came to me as quite a surprise because I had always seen Washington play the upright cop, the tough cop the roadies always feared, be it in his recent "Inside Man" or his Oscar winning performance as the out-of-the-way cop in "Training Day". So, it just raised by brows about he playing the American Gangster. And I least expected that the American Gangster, Frank Lucas would be black. When the first few stills from the film were released, it threw me back with the way Denzel looked. He has shed a lot of weight to look the part and Crowe was in his coolest best.

I happened to watch the film on the first week of its release. I was immensely satisfied with Scott's work. But, what puts me into a dilemma is whether the film is comparable to other highly recommended film in its genre. First things first, American Gangster is not an all-out gangster film like The Godfather or Goodfellas. This film has an equal footage depicting the ways of the detective, played by Russel Crowe, in pinning down Frank Lucas, and more, not only does the film show his professional ways, but also compares his personal life with that of Frank's by juxtaposing several scenes that portray the contradiction in the way they lead their personal lives. But, comparisons to "Heat" are inevitable when it comes to character drama. While goodfellas din't really have a character play that runs into irony and contradiction, this film boasts of a strong character play right from the moment you find Russel turning in bags of unmarked cash into his office, and at the same time womanizing at every opportunity he find, that is cleverly juxtaposed with scenes showing Denzel bringing his mother and his relatives home and falling for one woman whom he wishes to keep with him forever. I would say the film does good to itself in being a story well told witht he necessary pacing, action and character sketching, rather than being compared to its predecessors in its genre. Moreover, American Gangster is a period film and handles a real story based on an issue its predecessors never did. Hats off to Scott for having pulled off an amazing film, leave alone the comparisons ( they are inevitable, that too once you've named the movie as **something** gangster!!) to other films in its category. Not too violent, not too dramatic, not flawless either. American Gangster, thus, does make a classic in its own sense.