Trying to "discover" or save some low-lifes is an affront to their agency. This film made me sad but not in a pity or judgement way. Just in the way that to combat the perceived trajectory of a life, with its goals and landmarks, one must commit to replicating its cyclical nature in the hope of finding something honest.
I believe there are just two aspects to be pointed out here. First, this is one of Mickey Rourke's life's performances and second, no one should ever have accepted Bukowski's screenplay. Suffice it to say, if it wasn't for the pleasant and moody cinematography, this film would have been lost in the middle of the drunken genius self-destruction path of an ocean of whisky per day prescription and full-time hangovers.
Loved it! Personally I would have love to be the lead actor, having to act like a total drunkard walking in a crippled way and looking constantly tired! This movie is a repetition of drinking at a bar, fighting with the bar tender and getting laid. Somehow although I don't like repetitive movies I highly enjoyed every bit of this one. The routine in Henry's life isn't a choice but his own way of approaching the day.
Captures the spirit of Bukowski's prose nicely, I suppose the fact that he wrote it helps, but most directors don't respectfully adhere to the voice of the writer the way Barbet Schroeder does here. If you're a fan of this movie, read Bukowski's novel HOLLYWOOD, in which Bukowski talks about making this movie the way only he can through his Henry Chinaski alter-ego.