Sunday, February 06, 2011

005 - After Hours (1985)

DVD Box

Sometimes it feels like the world is conspiring against us. Everything that could go wrong will go wrong - but ultimately what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) is a word processor, working his ordinary hundrum life occasionally wishing he was in a better place. Life changes when he meets Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette) and, after bonding over their literature taste, he decides to go an visit her at half past 11 at night. The film details how different life is 'After Hours', and despite trying everything to get home, Paul seems to be stuck in a rut - unable to reach his apartment.

Despite the blurb on the back of the DVD, I was a little confused as to what the film was about, so I watched it with an open mind - trying to piece together a sometimes rushed storyline.

Theatrical Poster
Despite feeling like I was being pulled through the film - it is often broken up by chase scenes as the protagonist hurtles between locations - it was easy to sympathise with Paul. Dunne handles the varying emotions well, cleverly summed up in one scene where he moves swiftly from being overly-apologetic to genuine shock as he learns one of the characters has died.

Unfortunately, despite Dunne's acting, the supporting cast aren't so enthusiastic. As Marcy's flatmate Kiki, Linda Fiorentino seems wooden to say the least. A brief respite comes with Catherine O'Hara as the quirky Gail, but her part is short lived as the story flits onto the next scenes.

As a dark comedy the film works very well - the funny scripting comes through the characters very well. Occasionally it can be predictable (particularly during the second cab scene), but for the most part the amusement was original and genuine.

Worth a watch, but not one of Scorsese's better films.


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