Thursday, March 15, 2012

I HIRED A CONTRACT KILLER (1990)


As said in my earlier post, I’m trying to patch up with those log due cinema of Kaurismaki and this is another unexpectedly surprise treat for me offering the cocktail where drama blends with comedy. With every next film, the experience of watching Kaurismaki film is just exquisite one and I can’t get over the hangover for next couple of days I suppose. Like an independent auteur he took full control of his work with not only direction and production but also writing and editing this film too. The film is director’s only English language film set and shot in London showing us the neglected deglamorised face of the working class city. Perhaps it’s Kaurismaki’s shortest feature film with the length of just one hour fifteen minutes time.

After fifteen years of service a French service man was fired from job without any reason from Queen’s Waterworks Department. Tired and loner, the man wanted to end his life immediately. But after several unsuccessful suicide experiments in his apartment he headed towards a secret syndicate to hire a contract killer…just to get rid of himself! Quite a strange and bizarre…isn’t it? Next we see the moments of dry black humor where while sharing drinks the bunch of contract killers are giving him unwanted fatherly advice to live and survive quoting him the book of bible. To avoid the boredom of waiting for his self appointed killer, he went to nearest pub to have tea since he doesn’t drink. The bartender refused him offering tea and the fellow ended up with shots of alcohol, a pack of cigarettes and surprising company of a dame that gives him second thoughts. What happens next is interesting and surprising thing to notice on screen! 

The influence of Jean Luc Godard and other French New Wave Masters in noticeable in Kaurismaki’s works but than he has his own touch separating his cinema in exclusive category which is as inside and as outside the parameters of artistic cinema. It has minimal dialogues, fine use of mise en scenes and a protagonist with dead pan expression, can’t believe this is the same Jean Pierre Leaud, the darling of Godard-Truffaut films! Oh and I must say, Aki’s cinema bears a stamp of it’s own in matter of background score that permeates throughout his cinema just like the cinema of Wong Kar Wai and Jim Jarsmusch. It plays some of the classic blues and rock numbers here, infact it begins with one of all-time classic Blues number- ‘I need your love so bad’.

Watch it ASAP.  

Ratings-8/10   

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