Tag Archives: Brian de Palma

Carlito’s way : A few bumps…

carlitos way

We often use a hook in our conversations, to engage. In a screenplay  writers, directors need more than one, spread across the movie span. Carlito’s way is an excellent example of how such hooks can be employed to good effect.

Movie itself  starts off with the end scene, the shooting of the protagonist. Will I make it? As he wonders, so does the audience with his voice over guiding the flashback which begins at a point where the patient trolley hits a small bump. And so begins the story of Carlito, who just got out of prison and committed to change his life better. In his own words, he had enough of the old ways and is ready for a brand new beginning. He has it all figured out…just 70 grand short to get started with rental car business in Bahamas.

The rest of the story is about how four things come in his way–his past, his character, his friendship and his love interest. How he gets sucked into trouble, how his friendship turns fatal and how his love almost redeems him–these provide the structure of the movie and the related hook scenes.

A must watch  for anyone who is interested in how an actor (Al Pacino) takes his time to unravel the character and the director(Brian De Palma) boosting the visual style of the film through several key scenes.

My picks.

  1. Al Pacino’s portrayal of the inner conflict, specially with his girl friend (“It’s who I am Gail, it’s what I am. Right or wrong, I can’t change that.”) and towards the end, when things start falling apart.
  2. Brian De Palma’s execution of the first shoot out and the climax train scene.
  3. Sean Penn’s excellent performance to contrast with Al Pacino.(Hyena Vs Lion)
  4. Terrific support cast with a special mention to Luis Guzmán (Steps scene with Benny Blanco)