- THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) is about a small time Boston gangster who’s about to serve a few years in jail. In order avoid jail time he becomes an informant for the authorities and snitches on his friends.
This underrated gangster flick takes it’s time to tell the story, the slow pacing helps in creating this sense of reality. This is one of the most REAL gangster films I’ve ever seen. The way it portrays the working class of the Boston area is truly astonishing. It also makes commentary on an important subject – the gun laws of the United States. A huge portion of the film is about the illegal buying and selling of guns.
This film is about this washed up lonely middle aged guy who has a lot of friends but they are not actually his friends. We are shown that there is no loyalty even amongst thieves. They would betray each other for selfish reasons without the blink of an eye. While watching the film I could see how it has influenced quite a few recent movies/ shows of this genre. Mostly it reminded me of The Sopranos and a little bit of The Departed.
Robert Mitchum has given an excellent performance as Eddie Coyle, he’s this existential and courageous low life. He underplays the character, and I think that’s what makes Eddie Coyle believable. Every word he utters has this cold weight. Peter Yates has done a phenomenal job with the direction, there are these two sequences, one involving a heist and the other involving the authorities tailing a guy that almost made me applaud.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a meditative gangster film with a great script, edgy dialogues and a killer performance by Robert Mitchum.
- PEPPERMINT CANDY (1999(
Peppermint Candy (1999) is about a guy named Yong Ho who commits suicide. The film shows 20 years of his life leading to his death in reverse order.
This is such an original concept, showing five phases in a guy’s life, that too in reverse. While showing the different timelines the director also shows the political environment of that specific period. We see the state of Korea and how it changed. It captures how tragic political events can affect a person. It tells us how corruption in the system can have a massive impact on the everyday life of a common man.
At the beginning of the film, we see that Yong Ho is a disturbed man. He’s depressed and cynical, the film very astutely shows us the events in his life that made him this way. It shows how even the most mundane things can cause a big change in our personality. In every phase of his life, we see that he’s slightly different from the previous phase. We see how all the different experiences add up and define why he is a particular way. The writing does a very fine job at tying all the timelines together.
Lee Chang-Dong is one of the finest Korean directors and he knows how to capture human emotions. He knows how to flesh out complex characters that you empathise with. It looks effortless the way he does it. Even though the lead character comes off as unlikeable, you feel for him because of how the excellent storytelling portrays his unhappy life.
Peppermint Candy is an extremely poignant and moving film about an innocent soul who loses himself because he’s corrupted by society. I could not find a single flaw in it, it’s hands down one of the best films I’ve ever seen.