Mona Lisa Reviews
So perhaps they were made for one another - they match in their unwillingness to admit that they're emotionally fragile people in desperate need of a connection not underlined in someone else's shallow desires. Under normal circumstances would they never be brought together. But after George's diabolical former boss Denny Mortwell (Michael Caine) assigns George to act as the driver and bodyguard to Simone, their worlds come together, and, initially, clash. Akin to all cinematic couples that fight like a cat and a dog at first, though, the two eventually come to get to like one another, Simone's trust ultimately becoming so solidified that she tasks George with finding an old friend (Kate Hardie).
And, being the bizarro "Farewell, My Lovely" that it is, "Mona Lisa" (1986) is a sardonic neo-noir as easily able to enrapture with its whodunit fixings and its surprisingly nifty cast chemistry and it is with its cinéma-du-look reminiscent aesthetic. It's not all street glamour, though - thanks to Neil Jordan's co-writing and direction, we have a touching, eccentric romance to win us over, detours into violence and sex more a part of the brio than the humanistic core.
It's as much a popcorn movie as it is a perceptive commentary regarding the lives of street dwellers - think of it as a slice-of-life with sprinklings of Dashiell Hammett. Most of its success rests on the stocky shoulders of Bob Hoskins, who, in his breakthrough role (he won every major acting award but was unexpectedly beat out by Paul Newman for the Academy Award) is so perfectly cast that his performance - that of a classic underdog- instantaneously becomes indelible. It's his Vincent Vega, his Travis Bickle; Hoskins takes a misunderstood, slightly inept outsider and makes him cuddly. Comparatively excellent are Tyson and Caine, the former a sphinx not to be trusted and the latter the sort of grimy villain that feels all too much a part of our reality to easily shake off.
Along with their supporting players do they form a seedy world intriguing to visit - "Mona Lisa" is the sort of noir, that, like "The Big Sleep" (1946) or "Chinatown" (1974), magnetizes just as much as it repulses. We're bewitched by what it has to offer but are distinctly aware that presented is not a world we'd much like to live in. But nevertheless are all the false leads and killer dames and ruthless thugs compelling beings to be in the company of for a couple hours; this is modern, quaintly cynical noir to be cherished.
So I must say this was pretty good. It shows a darker side of England that we normally don't see from british films set in modern day. It was a nicely written story that gets pretty complex. It had a decent ending that was satisfactory.
This is very different from the bob Hoskins I was introduced to. he plays a really temperamental guy looking to be be more in the criminal world but his options are slim and he is by chance thrown into quite a situation. Terrific performance here from the late actor. The chemistry between Hoskins and Cathy Tyson was really intriguing they played out an interesting relationship on camera. Cathy Tyson herself did a tremendous job. she plays a really mysterious call girl who's story catches your curiosity more and more you see her. she's also really gorgeous. Good editing and also I liked the directing here from neil Jordan. beautiful music especially the mona lisa song, very well done soundtrack.
This movie gets a nice 3 1/2 out of 5 stars from me. go check it out
Itr s a nice story and a must watch for growing teenager and everyone above that age.Nice story.
I watched Mona Lisa towards the end of December, after I had set the first draft of my Best I Saw list for 2013. When I was finished, I immediately went to that list and had to rearrange it. Neil Jordan took the British gangster film (and he was serious about making sure people knew it was a British gangster film, to the point of casting the British gangster film stalwart, Bob Hoskins, the Ray Winstone of the eighties), added some of that Neil Jordan magic that few people recognized that early in his career (Mona Lisa was Jordan's third feature), and came up with something that simultaneously revelled in being a British gangster film and something that was also totally new. I'm not sure there is such a thing as the definitive British gangster film, and if it does exist, I'm certain it happened well before 1986. Besides, Mona Lisa breaks far too many molds to be a definitive anything... and yet, somehow, it is, a quick, genre-bending, exceptionally intelligent piece of work.
George (Hoskins) is a small-time mobster who has just been released from prison for a crime he didn't commit-he took a fall for his boss, Mortwell (Michael Caine), who's now avoiding him. He tries to pick up a bit of make-work until he gets back in good with his old mob, and Mortwell, through a proxy, throws him a bone as the driver for a high-class courtesan, Simone (The Serpent and the Rainbow's Cathy Tyson in her feature debut). The two of them have some rough edges to get through, but eventually end up bonding. Once that occurs, Simone asks George for a favor-she promised a fellow courtesan that she would look after her, and the two of them have lost touch over the years. Could George find her? And thus, the mobster becomes an amateur detective, leading to a sequence that's equal parts comedy and homage to Taxi Driver.
See what I mean about genre-bending? That's a tough thing to do, and the more movie I watch the more I understand how tough it is, but Jordan handles everything he tries here with aplomb. Every decision here was made correctly, from casting to camera angles, with one arguable exception (it is obvious, given that a section of the film is a full-length rendition of the Genesis song "In Too Deep" over a montage of George doing his sleuthing, that the studio paid highly for the song and damned well meant to fully showcase it). It is perhaps not a perfect film, but if it is not, is is about as close to one as I have seen in quite a while; this is fabulous filmmaking, and it doesn't matter what genre you are most into, you are likely to find a bit of it here; this is a movie that by rights should have appeal to the widest swath of filmgoers of any I have seen in many years. **** 1/2