Apr 10, 2008

Léon: The Professional

Making a sensitive film on a serious subject can be a fickle thing. Many problems can occur within the film and cause it to crumble, despite its greatness. Léon is perhaps the most perfect action film and the perfect Hitman film. As Leon puts it, he is a "cleaner" He is the local assassin who is the best. He keeps his money with local mafia member named Tony. Morose enigmatic Frenchman Léon (Jean Reno) lives his life day by day. His hobbies include drinking milk, exercising, watering his best friend, and the occasional kill. Léon is a man of many mysteries and many quirks. Then we meets a woman. As you can guess, bad goes to worse and he recruits this feisty rascal as a fellow assassin to get payback on Oldman.

Léon is largely a film that bathes in its own emotions. Rather than relaying gunfight after gunfight, or even soaking in its explosions like the bulk of the genre tends to do, it sorts out all the characters, lays them out on the table, and begins to build on them with the utmost accuracy. Luc Besson captured the feel of a cramped apartment rather splendidly. Gary Oldman makes a shocking appearance as one of the most sadistic characters portrayed in film. His melodic outbursts rival Léon's sadness effortlessly.

Eric Serra creates a score that feels like a tribute to Morricone's early days with First Blood except with an Eric Clapton dose. Beyond the orchestral and the original hit songs, there lies a deeper side of The Professional. When Léon: The Professional was released in America, 27 minutes were trimmed off. Why? Well, Americans has in intolerance for pedophilia. Not to say I have a tolerance, but for it's usage in this film, it's quite poetic. The Professional is a completely different film and is missing several tones with most of it's narrative cut off, but still manages to be an epic savage tale of revenge.

What is any action film or any contemporary drama without a Bollywood remake? Yet again, they have ruined or even worse, tainted a masterpiece with a stagnant piece of shit. This time, the Indian word for shit is Bichhoo. The difference between the two (Despite it being a shitty Third-world country feature) is the lack of charisma and amazing cinematography. Much props go out to the wide angle lenses that Besson uses. As much as I'd love to rant about the pure love I have towards Reno, the show partly belongs to Gary Oldman. Stansfield's character even rivals Blue Velvet's Frank.

Little Israel-born Natalie Portman as Mathilda happens to be in love with the tall burly French assassin. When you watch this film, the chemistry is uncompromising. The characters are all unique in each ways and this very combination fits Léon as one of my favorite films of all time. As much as I wish to divulge this films secrets and splash new perspectives on this film, I cannot. Besides its muddled cultural confusion, It's far from a normal film but with its shocking love story to its unprovoked violence, Léon: The Professional is the definitive tale of violence and the related struggle of love.



the sayer of the truth said...

the 27 minutes were trimmed because we are living in "THE TIME OF SEXUAL REPRESSION". By the way, gary oldman is british, there-fore by definition he is a pile of dog-shit.

peregrine fforbes-hamilton said...

I want to bugger Natalie Port-girl (as she was in 1993 when she was 12 not as she is now obviously).