Friday, May 1, 2009
You Kill Me. Feature film. (2007, 93x mins) IMDB
rank lives in Buffalo. He's lived there his entire life. He's Polish and part of a gang of Poles who control certain aspects of life in Buffalo. He's also a drunk which gets in the way of his job which is to kill people who get in the way of his Polish gang.
In the opening scenes he drinks to excess. It's winter and he goes out front of his house to clear the snow. One scoop of snow, two swigs of vodka. This continues until the bottle is empty and he tosses it into the snow.
As he's shovelling the snow, a cohort drops by to give him an assignment. Kill O'Leary before he gets on a train to NYC. Our hero stakes out the train station. He has a pistol and a large bottle of vodka. He spends his time drinking and drinking until he passes out. O'Leary gets on the train and leaves town unharmed.
The next morning his cohorts find him passed out in his car and haul him into their snow plough depot (a part of the Polish gang operations). He pissed off his uncle Roman who tells him he has to shape up. Here comes the inciting incident only a few minutes into the film. Frank is going to San Fran to clean up and sober up. He's no use to them as a drunk and off our hero goes.
He ends up in San Fran where he has an apartment, a new "buddy" and a new job working at a funeral home.
His new buddy (Pullman) is a friend of the family. If our hero doesn't do what's expected, Pullman is going to make a call back home. This threat forces our hero into line--at least, it points him in that direction.
He also meets the love interest. It's an odd pairing. She shouldn't be the least bit interested in him, but it turns out she is or maybe that's just what the story requires and it does.
Our hero chases after her and they become an item even if he's twenty years older.
The film is about this man's struggle with life. Who is he? What makes him happy? How to get out of the funk he's in.
He drinks a lot then stops and slips up a few times. These slip-ups screw up his relationship with the love interest. No surprise there and I wish they hadn't included that scene.
Because, as we're shown, AA is about spilling your guts and making amends, that's what he does. He lets everyone know what he does: he kills people. He's a hitman. It's the kind of statement you'd expect if he were on the stand in court and had immunity. I suppose the second A in AA feels like immunity, because nothing negative happens because of his revelation. People accept it. In real life, I think people would assume he's full of shit or be intrigued to learn more.
As the story progress, life for the Polish gang in Buffalo gets worse. They are losing business to the Irish and soon people will lose their life to the Irish. It means our hero has to come back and to the rescue. Yes, it's Act III. Since, there's a romantic element to this film, it also means he loses the girl, but that always happens at this point in the story. It's only temporary.
Our hero comes back to Buffalo to kill O'Leary, the cocky SOB, and we're happy. His girlfriend chases after him and they reunite and we're happy.
Our hero has changed his life around and got the girl. There's a bright future ahead for him. Only in the movies.
This film is a mixture of genres. It's part romantic comedy although there's nothing keeping them apart and they aren't a natural couple. It's part comedy and satire. I never once burst out laughing, but there were some clever moments.
Even though there are gangs and violence, you won't mistake it for a Martin Scorsese film.
There was one moment where I thought, yes, it's Ghandi. That's completely unfair, but natural.
Posted 2009/05/01 at 19h58ET in Movie Commentary.