Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raptor is Heartless

Every now and then there are scenes and depictions in a movie that just creep you out. In Heartless it’s a street gang but I’ll elaborate.

Wow what a crappy poster!

Heartless is revolves around Jamie Morgan (Jim Sturgess), a photographer born with a heart shaped birth mark on his face. This has caused him to be withdrawn and lonely which was made worse when his father, who he looked up to, died earlier in his life. As the movie continues news stories of violent and unprovoked murders begin to be reported on the news. Then one night while taking a picture he finds an image of a disturbing creature in the background. This sets him on a path to find out what it was and discovers that there is a demonic gang incinerating random people with Molotov’s. He is eventually approached to Papa B(Joseph Mawle) who turns out to be the devil who offers him his hearts desire for one simple task, graffiti a wall. Jamie asks for to fall in love and in a phoenix like scene is reborn without the birth mark. He then meets Tia played by a cute Clements Poesy and they fall in love. This all starts to fall apart when the Weapons Man (Eddie Marsan) calls in on Eddie to help him complete his task of murdering someone by ripping out there heart while still alive and placing it on the church steps. Wait a minute you say, that’s not graffiti? Yes the devil lied. Who knew? Things all go down hill from there.

So what do you see here? Yo momma. Bazinga!

Director and Writer Phillip Ridley has put together an eerie and at times disturbing movie on a small budget. The British cast all give very solid performances. Jim Sturgess as Jamie is a flawed anti hero. The birth mark is his weakness rather than a strength and when this disappears he gains his confidence back or so it seems. The other characters are not as fleshed out as Jamie unfortunately and the story revolves mostly around this character.  Joseph Mawles Papa B is menacing in an underworld bikey boss sort of performance. There wasn’t a vast range of emotions to show but that seemed to help rather than hinder character.

I want to talk to you about God. Wait come back! I have pamphlets!

Now the creepy part that I mentioned above is the gang with the serpentine faces, screeching bestial screams all while dressed in hoodies and jeans. I must have been the meshing between the demonic and street gang that was unnerving but it worked for me. The tension and unease was also built up in news reports of violent crimes and second hand accounts of what was happening so that when Jamie actual meats up with the gang there is a certain about of dread already built up.
On the down side and also a spoiler warning the movie ends with the ambiguous notion of it was all in his head which I find to be a cop out most of the time. I can kind of accept it here but barely as there were clues throughout in a Sixth Sense kind of way. The pacing was also a little to slow at times especially at the beggining.
Overall I would say it was a reasonable effort as a Faustian tale. I give it a 7/10.

Multiple booby shots of Clements Poesy. Win!

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