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A reminiscent of 'Taxi Driver', of course, this movie is, but in its own enjoyable manner, with British flavour. Filled with outstanding performances from the main cast, and especially Bob Hoskins.
"Mona Lisa," based on the screenplay by Neil Jordan and David Leland, is not a successful fusion of the drama and crime genres. The approach is to welcome us into George and Simone's disreputable worlds through their personal interactions, but it sacrifices the complexity of their relationships. As a result, the big picture is a blur for the most part. This is problematic because the third act, including the climax, involves life or death situations. I found myself indifferent toward who lives or dies.
Some people put so much time and effort into devising the person they'd like to be that there comes a point in which the line between the real them and their idealized self becomes innumerably blurred. Take "Mona Lisa's" resident odd couple, George (Bob Hoskins) and Simone (Cathy Tyson). George is a loud-mouthed, almost uncomfortably candid low-level gangster recently released from prison, meticulous in his surrounding himself in a savage, seen-it-all facade. Simone, a beguiling black prostitute, prides herself in the imperceptible shawl of bewitchment that dependably surrounds her. Neither, though, are much willing to reveal their vulnerabilities to the world.
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.
1986's Mona Lisa is the story of George a middle aged gangster who is released from prison. he is keen to get himself a job in the criminal underworld but pickings are slim and he assigned as a driver for a mysterious prostitute named Simone. As the story unfolds we come to find that Simone is hiding some major secrets and it causes further stress for George who is also trying to reestablish a relationship with his daughter whom he hasn't seen in sometime.
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
Bob Hoskins plays his typical role as a gangster with a soft side. He is given the job of driving a "lady of the night" around to her various jobs. A gritty cockney drama that existed before Guy Ritchie and football hooligan films made a mockery of the genre. Michael Caine's character in this is a little embarrassing though.
A noir film that becomes a thriller with a relation of hate sympathy between a whore and her driver an ex convict.
Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, and Michael Caine are all excellent in this dark romance. Great writing and music
Bob Hoskins gives off an astonishing performance in here.
wow brilliant......i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is such a great movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that bob hoskins (.R.I.P.), cathy tyson, michael caine, robbie coltrane, kate hardie, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this drama/romance/mystery/suspense/thriller movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....i think that michael caine was brilliant throughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie.......i think that bob hoskins (.R.I.P.), was fantastic throughout this movie........i think that Joe Brown as Dudley, was great throughout this movie.......its got good fight scenes thorughout this movie......its got good car chases throughout this movie......i think that this is such a classics movie 2 watch its got a great cast throughout this movie........i think that Maggie O'Neill (from the brilliant tv series shameless), was great throughout this movie......i think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch i think that this is such a superb movie 2 watch......i think that Perry Fenwick was great throughout this movie......its got good fight scenes throughout this movie......i think that this is such a cult classics movie 2 watch its such a brilliant movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant classics movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......
A beautiful film that Hoskins should have won best actor for.