‘Vampires are lucky, they can feed on others. We gotta eat away at ourselves.’
Abel Ferrara’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’ is shocking, disturbing and uncompromising piece of personal cinema about a cop without a name. His rough, bleak and messy existence is purveyance of self destruction and absolute anarchy around. He’s the cop gambling heavy bets, he’s corrupt, he’s thief, he’s hooked junkie and alcoholic, he’s the sinner. He’s in mess of no returned and stuck to a big fix when he constantly failing to pay betting debts to loan shark and doubling it to recover and ending up to lose further. He doesn’t mind taking physical advantage of young girls on duty or stealing from department store and yet on verge of his self destruction he encounters a rape case of nun which draws him towards the redemption.
If Nicholas Cage had played one of unsurpassable doomed alcoholic method act in ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ than this is the unsurpassable doomed junkie method act you’ve ever seen in form of Harvey Keitel. Undoubtedly this is one of his absolutely stunning and uncompromising performance. Watch his body language, expressions and temperament in almost each and every scenes, I must say this is one hell of method act. There’s many scenes that can’t wipe out just due to Keitel’s intensity of performance.
The film bears strong religious perspective of sin, confession, repentance in the later half. I haven’t seen other films of
Ferrara and it’s hard to
say whether this is his film, since Keitel’s performance overshadows
everything. I don’t recollect the name but one of fellow cinephile told me to
version when I praised Herzog’s take on it starring Cage. With full respect to Werner Herzog, I must
say that ‘Bad Lieutenant’ is belong to Harvey Keitel only.