Movie Review – Scarface

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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To call Scarface a plain action movie is a blasphemy. Scarface gives rich emotional experience which no action move could give. Being a movie buff I should have watched this movie way before. But as I lost interest in Hollywood movies, Hollywood action movies in general I didn’t want to watch a movie with big star in it. Even when I watched this movie on a Saturday morning. I wasn’t at the edge of my seat to experience the thrill. I was sitting lazily like how Tony sits in his chair, read as Throne. I liked the very design of his seat. Highly aesthetic.


Tony is one of the thousands of refugees who were shipped to America during boat crises. In his first scene he’s asked, “O.K., so what do you call yourself? Eh? ¿Como se llama?,” he replies and in return he asks the questioner, “Antonio Montana. And you, what you call yourself?” He in spite of being a refugee on a foreign land is not afraid of any one. That is what is visible to us at that point. We see an ultra-confident Tony – whom we don’t have any doubt – has it in him to be the next big don.

He’s given a job to start with, of killing former Cuban government official named Emilio Rebenga who killed Frank Lopez’s (Robert Loggia) brother long ago. He successfully completes it but he’s not satisfied with it. Having a sandwich shop in front of the most famous club irks him so when he comes to give another job he asks for a bigger job. He gets into it. That’s when we see how tough he is. We see how he understands their mind. Having been brought up in a place where he witnesses violence in day to day life he understands the minds of people who indulge in violence. That’s why when the drug dealer kills his friend he keeps quiet. He knows that if he makes noise or even if he gives drugs he’s not bound to be released. He sees his friend being butchered. At the same instant he shows his human nature too. He doesn’t like to see his friend dying. He cries in angst, he tithers in pain so when he gets a chance to revenge he kills the drug dealer in the middle of the street quite mercilessly.

Having known that there is conspiracy around he wants to meet the original one and does so. Expectedly the original don likes his style and employs him. Tony starts seeing his girlfriend, Elvira Hancock (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is epitome of attitude but that’s why he likes it. She seems to be the only person who’s not afraid of Tony. By various means he gets to become the kingpin of underworld gets to marry his girlfriend and becomes ultimate power.

Now what? That’s when he gets desolate. After achieving so much in such a little time he doesn’t know what else to do. Everything he loves turns awry. He loves is sister. Sometimes it’s not clear whether it’s just a brotherly affection or incest. They look closer than a usual brother-sister. We see some amount of lust when he holds in front of the car with Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer) looking at him. It’s something which is left for us to realize. He doesn’t like it when he sees her in the club. That’s understandable. When he sees her with his best friend in robe anybody would have got angry and being an angry person with gun he shoots him down but latter knows that they are married. In the climax his sister asks whether he wants her and couldn’t bear anyone to touch her.

Tony loses her wife too meanwhile. She doesn’t like her sitting and snorting all the while. If the exchange in hotel is brilliant the bath tub scene where he furies is absolute class. It’s in the torment Al Pacino shows why he’s a class act. Yes he has done a certain bit of homework to get the accent right, his body language right and style.

But when he feels that he’s lost he excels. He is not sure of himself. He’s afraid of things happening. If he had been born in a decent family with pleasant surroundings he would have been a good kid but because he was born in the midst of violence he sees violence as his sole companion. Even girls don’t excite him. He’s not very much into that. When his friend tries to get a girl he advises him, “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.”So his only companion is cocaine. That last scene when he snorts by falling into the cocaine is absolutely awesome. Needless to say, “Say hello to my lil friend here,” was terrific.

But as I saw this film quite late many films seem to have been copied by this film. Those brother-sister sentiment, Tony not killing the kids. All regular features of numerous Kollywood movies.Even the scene where Tony’s friend advices can be found in many movies. Back then when it was released youngsters would have worshipped this film and that’s why it still maintains the cult status. It is a film to be worshipped. Well, how many times have we seen a don who’s insecure? He indulges into these activities because of his insecurity.

Al Pacino is very good in showing of his controlled emotions during the scenes of torment. In dog day afternoon more than the scenes where he shouts “Attica! Attica,” it’s the scenes inside the bank. A sweaty Al sitting without knowing what to do, scores. He shows how much a helpless individual he is. Even here he is a helpless individual but not a loser like how he was in Dog Day Afternoon. This film thus becomes by second favorite film of his, after Dog Day Afternoon.


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