Before the devil knows you’re dead

After watching this last film of the well known director Sidney Lumet, I was left with a weird sensation. The storyline is based on a jewelry robbery which doesn’t turn out as planed, provoking an unsuspected situation which will truncate the lives of two brothers and their family. At first sight, it looks like a simple thriller, however it’s all, but conventional. The complex characters evolve towards alleys with no return, forcing extreme situations and reactions.

The plot goes through various good twists and turns, and the film is full of impacting images and powerful scenes, however it doesn’t get to curdle; mainly because of the untidy structure, which becomes repetitive, and the lack of consistency in the seeding of some facts that will take place. Moreover the constant rhythm’s changes, from hard action to slow progressing scenes, deviate the viewers’ attention, becoming a bit leaden at some points.

Lumet takes hand of the actor Albert Finney with whom he’s worked in previous films, for the character of the brothers’ father, which are interpreted by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. Their interpretations are strong and very emotional but it is difficult to feel identified with the characters proposed as their emotional arch is too abrupt.

Visualy, Lumet leaves his recognizable footprint giving the film a plain, not fancy and casual look, which remains of the 70’s cinema. He recreates an exiting scenario, with the use of achieved shocking character to character or match actions transitions.
As a whole it is a quite awkward movie.



3 Responses to “Before the devil knows you’re dead”

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