Monday, August 31, 2009

After Hours (1985) 5/10


Worker drone Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) is in for the night of his life after he meets the odd Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette) at a local restaurant. After things go awful at her place he goes on a mind-bending journey through New York, with no money to buy a cab or metro, and constantly running into weird women, he's caught in Soho with the worst kind of luck.

This 1985 interpretive dark dramdey, is one of Martin Scorsese's more overlooked oddball films. Much in the same way as his King of New York, the audience is left with a series of random events, entirely open to interpretation. I can't really tell you whether or not I liked the movie as a whole, it's very very strange, with very strange characters, none of them really likable. At the same time it is contrasted by this overbearing curiosity as to whether or not we're watching a nightmare, a descent into madness, or actual occurrences. Maybe it's all three, but to be honest... I can't tell you.

In the end I found myself staring in a sort of vibrant curiosity, which heavily outweighed my general lack of interest. Right up until the ending, After Hours is just more of a series of interconnected, but seemingly random, stories that make you feel a wide variety of emotions. Sadly though the movie's ambition seems to outweigh its actual offerings. For an interpretive film, the movie relies heavily on generic story constructs, which provide a strong counter to what exactly the movie is trying to do. Granted the fact that the movie lacks a central theme, it is surprisingly boring for a Scorsese film, and will likely only appeal to the art film crowd.

The supporting cast of Cheech and Chong, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, and Will Patton, bring a vibrant life to the scenes, but don't really stand out because they're all completely crazy, and moronic. Almost as if all of them are basically the same character with different varies of weird, who knows though, maybe that's a point.

In the end I'm sad to say I was greatly disappointed in After Hours, but I must say for those of you who love art house films you'll probably find this a gem.

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