Director: Brian De Palma
“One of the few films that has lived up to the hype I had heard about it“
I had never seen this film until about 4 years ago, and I still probably never would have had it not been for everybody baning on about it all the time. So curiosity got the best of me and I caved in and watched it. Boy am I glad I did.
This has now been labeled a cult classic by many critics and fans and rightly so. A cult film is called so because it is often considered controversial because it steps outside standard narrative and technical conventions, and Scarface certainly did this. Using Al Pachino as the lead role of Tony Montana a Cuban refugee who comes to Miami to escape communism, the film managed to capture an amazing take on a new type of gangster film. After the Godfathers release years earlier this film completely ignored the rules on gangstar films and made its own rules.
The film manages to keep an edge of realism to it that many may find somewhat disturbing, such as a bloody chainsaw murder in a bath tub and other such gruesome killings, but if you stay with it, it is not just the gore that shines through. The story keeps you gripped and you will want to see the inevitable outcome to Montana’s life.
Pachino plays the role to perfection and using a Cuban accent which I have heard is apparently not completely accurate (but who cares it sounds great for Tony Montana) he manages to turn Montana from a lowly Cuban dishwasher when he first hits the shores of Miami to a powerful rich drug lord where he really comes into his own at the end of the film and hits us with the line “say hello to my little friend!”after burying his head in a mountain of coke.
There is also good performances from Robert Loggia who plays Frank Lopez a drug barren from Miami who first takes on Tony Montana and a young Michelle Pfeiffer who used this film to push her career onto big things.
The film carries the grim lesson of having everything but having nothing and that money can not buy you happiness, which is all shown brilliantly by Pachino in the final few scenes to the film (which I wont spoil if you haven’t seen it).
I’m sure there will be a few questions by people as to whether this deserves to be in my top 10, but for me this really is one of my favorites, and is one of the few films that lived up to the hype I had heard about it.