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Reviews of Dog Day Afternoon
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Instead of writing again a very long and straight review, I’d like to jot down ten thoughts just off the top of my head concerning this exquisite movie:
1) Watching this film will change forever your perception of the bank heist genre, making you question the contrived cinematic conventions these films usually make use of.
2) The source of this film’s paradoxical and/or farcical elements spring from life itself, not from film or pre-existing cinematic conventions. Sometimes, the absurdities of life are so great, they dwarf those included in any form of fiction. Without even trying to make that point, this film captures that concept beautifully.
3) Its tone in relation to the homosexual theme is ahead of its time. In fact it’s ahead of OUR time, even, in hardly making an issue out of it at all – it just IS.
4) It captures the climate of the 70s in a manner so sober, you’ll remember its unshowy yet authentic feel forever.
5) Lumet’s film brings to life the concept of the distorting lens of the media and how different groups with different agendas will turn an outlaw into a hero, with far more efficiency than Oliver Stone’s brash, bloated, childish and repetitive Natural Born Killers.
6) Watching this film will illustrate to the younger generations exactly why Al Pacino has earned himself the legendary status he probably no longer would deserve with his performances of the last 10 years alone. Just watch those last ten minutes of him handcuffed against the bonnet of a car, where he doesn’t say a word, but speaks volumes with his eyes and his soul just oozing out of every frame at the end of the movie; you’ll remember those eyes for as long as you live!
7) Watching this film, you’ll realize that firing a gun-shot is a BIG DEAL in real life, and that other films make too much use of gun fire in a highly contrived way.
8) All that tension deriving from pointed guns unable to fire a shot OR move awayâ¦ you realize Tarantino must’ve taken notes sometime along the way.
9) No genre is old or done too many times before if it’s handled with this amount of freshness, inspiration and talent.
10) Watching Dog Day Afternoon for the third time has filled me with the same amount of wonder at the power of truly inspired but unobtrusive film-making as it did first time round.
Short version: Sydney Lumet was a fantastic director, Pacino is brilliant in this, and the story is intensely engaging in creating a suspenseful environment and excellent portrayal of this true story. A fantastic heist-gone-wrong film.
Long version: I decided that since Lumet passed this week that I would catch up on some of the biggest critically acclaimed of his films (Network is next on the list). I can’t believe it had to take his death in order for me to finally sit down to this brilliant film. It is so deserving of its praise. Literally every aspect of this film is top notch. The direction is noticeably the best part. Without Lumet at its helm this could be a claustrophobic bore since it is almost all shot indoors in small rooms, and yet it feels like an epic scale robbery film.
Aside from the direction creating a believable environment, everything from the script to the acting was superb. Pacino gives a knockout performance as the emotionally unstable robber who has all the right motives but pursues them without any logic. The viewer is sucked into this suspenseful emotional struggle which never paints either side as completely in the right. It’s a classic piece of american crime drama which deserves to be seen by any film enthusiast.
wow,after watching DOG DAY AFTERNOON,now i’m pretty sure that Sidney Lumet is a master of simple yet powerful storytelling.in 12 ANGRY MEN,he makes me sit tight from the beginning to end.that’s just..great achievement,considering that movie just takes place in one room,and knowing that,usually,i’m not much fan of a ‘talky’ movie.in this movie,the setting is also not much.just taking place in a single bank (well,at least 90 % of the movie is).but,his delicate direction,and helped by another breathtaking performance by pacino,again,makes me sit tight.now i wonder if he can makes a movie that takes place in a toilet an still make it worth watching..