lördag, maj 29, 2010

Sea of Love

A film about the dangers with Lonely Heart's Columns - today in the form of internet but at the time through newspapers. Beware!

Detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino) has become a bitter man after his wife left him for his colleague Gruber (Richard Jenkins) with whom he works on a everyday basis.
He can't let go of this story and reminds Gruber as often as he can.
Now they are investigating a murder where the victim - a naked man - has been shot in the neck lying in a bed faced down, with a record playing the song 'Sea of Love' as the only visible or auditive clue.
Another victim is found in the same way and now Frank starts cooperating with Det. Sherman (John Goodman) - instead of Gruber - as the latter murder was committed in Sherman's operational area.
As both victims (and later ones) has written poetry in the Lonely Heart's Column in order to find the 'right one', the two policemen figure out that if they do the same thing they could perhaps get their hands on the suspect, when she(?) is answering the add.
Said and done.
Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin) - a manager of a shoe store - answers the add but unfortunately Keller falls in love with her, jeopardizing the whole investigation and maybe his life?!
Sherman understands that Keller isn't playing with open cards and he's worried about the outcome of this plan.
Is Helen actually the murder or isn't she, that is the question as Hamlet would have said.

This is a rather traditionally told story about the daily police work, more or less dedicated cops, using methods 'on the limits', interfoliated by side stories about their private life, very popular during the 70's but not least the 80's when trying to create a story with greater depth, making us acquainted with the man or woman behind the mask.
In general I don't think this approach add anything significant to the story and it doesn't deepen our understanding of the main characters reasons for acting in one way or another.
It's af is the directors want us to remember that this is 'ordinary people' with 'ordinary lives', including family conflicts, divorces, sorrow and pain - but that we already know.
The acting was however good and this goes not least for Ellen Barkin, in one of her best roles.

Director: Harold Becker.

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