Sunday, June 18, 2006

INSIDE MAN

Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor

"It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can't judge a crime by its cover."

Cinema 1, Power Plant Cinema

Dalton Russell

After watching mostly French movies (except for "The Lake House") for the past week, this weekend it was time to treat my dad for a Father's Day movie. I'm glad that I picked a good film to watch with my father because the thing about my father and movies is that he likes them to have some hidden meaning and with a little twisted angle.
Well anyway, this intelligent tale of a bank heist with a twist is a difficult film to review. I don't want to reveal anything about the plot. I prefer the audience discover for themselves from start to finish why this film deserves the accolades it received. You have to listen, watch closely every minute detail that unfolds on the screen.
Good acting from the main characters notably Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen. You expect nothing but the best from them in any movie they star in. So they surely didn't disappoint in this one.
It was masterfully directed by Spike Lee. His usual style of gripe to showcase movies with racial tension in our everyday world does shine in "Inside Man." After all if you pay close attention to Spike Lee's career, you will notice he cast Asians, African Americans and the ubiquitious Jewish person in his movies. The little tirade that Ed Norton cleverly delivered in a very interesting scene in "25th Hour" proves my point. In that short clip, Norton basically lambasted every minority group in New York. Case in point, the opening sequence of "Inside Man" begins with an Indian song blasting loudly. Ingenious innovative way to capture the viewer's attention from the get go.
Ok well back to the bank heist, in the early part of the film I had formulated some theories but boy was I wrong in my assumptions. The unpredictability factor is what makes this film a suspensful thriller like no other 'crime' themed film I've seen in a while. The only one I can think of is "The Usual Suspects". As well the last part of "Ocean's Eleven", the remake with George Clooney and Brad Pitt in lead roles. It is no wonder that some reviews tend to compare Dalton Russell to the inconquerable Keyser Soze.
I do recommend this movie because once in a while we need to treat ourselves with a 'clever' bank robbery film with funny yet witty dialogue, good acting from the whole cast and which had an underlying hidden theme. A notch above the usual I.rob.a.bank.to.steal.money scenario. The reputation of one man is a small price to pay for the millions of people who perished solely based on their religious beliefs. That in my opinion is what Spike Lee was trying to convey in this suspenseful caper. I'd say he did it succesfully with "Inside Man".

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