Blow (2001)

“Blow” (2001)

blow

IMDb

unworthy of Depp

I was expecting something different here. I think i was deceived by the key image associated with this film, one that has Depp and Penelope lying down side by side, looking at us, over a red bottom. It told me i was going to see a film about people, about two people, eventually bound together, eventually in love. Eventually i was going to watch a love story, a film centered on a relation.

It was a much better promise than the mess this film is. It is absolutely worthless, it takes you time and gives nothing in return. It’s absolutely incompetent in everything, except for the redeeming elements of watching Depp and Franka Potente acting.

The film fully follows the Scorcese gangster film model, the one he flourished in Goodfellas. It’s a mixture of style, a certain idea of the coolness of the mob world, associated with the violence that comes with it. In practical terms, we follow a certain character, and get into the various aspects of his life. Literally into his head, as the voice off is an important element to make this work. We get into the head of the character as much as we get into the mechanics of the world we are shown. A clear reference to that is that here we have Liotta playing Depp’s dad, the same Liotta who was Depp’s character in Goodfellas. See that? The thing is, with Goodfellas, that world was shiny, brilliant, it was seductive as much as it was decadent. Characters there were reluctant pieces of an inevitable chess game. And we were one of them. The film was visceral, violence was inevitable. Here everything is lazy. It’s not worth being here, i don’t care about any of what i’ve seen. The world of the film is incomplete, we don’t feel the true pulse of anything that is given to us. We don’t have love or friendship, just sex and friendly words. Not violence, just punches and tricks, we don’t have commitment, things just happen.

But, in the middle of this, we have Depp, and a very interesting and underexposed Potente. That’s the only pure moments of the film are those when the screen is shared by them two. There is a mutual understanding among them, that goes beyond the script, or the rubbish lines they have to perform. It goes beyond the short sight of the produces. Sadly, Potente is underexposed, and very soon taken away from the screen. Depp struggles to exist as an artist for the rest of the film. The contrast between him and the others shows me i’d like to be watching another film, where someone actually cares about what Depp can do. Not this one. This is the wrong film. Penélope Cruz here is all about screaming, her looks (unflatteringly used), and the contrast to Potente’s character, 2 of the 3 women that define Jung’s life (the other is his daughter). Penélope essentially does what she feels should be done, that’s good when the director knows where he’s going (Almodóvar or even Woody). Not here. We needed to have a film with Depp and Potente lying down side by side, and that image had to matter.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

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