Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Cape Fear Review
Scorsese may not be my favorite director in Hollywood but he destroys a majority of Hollywood directors in terms of quality and storytelling. I have seen a lot of Scorsese's movies and this was one of the bigger ones that I have not seen yet. The symbolism in the movie right from the start is very effective, such as in the opening of the movie when De Niro's character is released from jail and as he exits the jail there is a brewing thunderstorm in the background. Signifying that there is a storm brewing with in him, a mix of vengeance and odd evil.
De Niro's character Max Cady is really a disturbed individual, a pervert and an extremely smart and motivated individual. He is creepy in almost every scene that he is in, there is just an air about him that exudes creepiness. He does things in a manner that make everyone around him feel uncomfortable, such as lighting a cigar and laughing at the top of his lungs in a movie theater. He watches Nick Nolte's character's family from outside of their house and even goes as far as raping a work flirt of Nolte's character. Nolte and De Niro really hit the mark in each of their respective roles. This is Nolte before he was a drunk and really crazy and De Niro really embodies the character of Max Cady and truly becomes the character while on screen. Nolte really does a good job as a defense lawyer who is trying to protect his family any way that he can from the threat that De Niro's character presents to them on a constant basis. Cady is a pedophile and becomes infatuated with Nolte's daughter played by Juliette Lewis. She also does a very good job with portraying a young girl trying to become a woman. Cady does everything that a pedophile would stereotypically do, he stakes out the local high school, watches young girls from a far, and even gives cigarettes to Nolte's daughter. He even sneaks a kiss with the daughter while making believe to be the school's drama teacher. Scorsese does an amazing job at setting the tone in this movie.
There is always tension in the air and that is ultimately why this movie works so effectively. Cady is in my mind a completely unsympathetic character in my eyes, while his defense attorney may not have done everything to defend him, he did still brutally assault and rape a young woman. Not exactly the most forgivable of offenses and then he assaults and rapes a close work friend of Nolte's character. Scenes such as Cady waiting outside of the ice cream shop the family is at also adds needed tension to the movie. What I am describing really needs to be seen to be fully understood. This is one of the better movies that I have seen from Scorsese and is really the best performances I have seen from De Niro and Nolte. The way they each become the characters they are playing is really something that needs to be witnessed. This is what acting is supposed to be, getting the audience to believe that you are actually the characters that you are playing and not just pretending to be the characters.
Scorsese really knocked it out of the park with this movie. The combination of great characters, deep story, interesting characters, and unbearable tension make this a movie of unbelievable quality. This is a must see movie and needs to be seen even if you are only a casual fan of Scorsese.