We live in a complex world, I don’t know if you have noticed it, in which almost nothing is what it seems. The language of cinema has evolved but the language within films has also evolved. Pay attention to it: in every contemporary action, let’s say post-Stahelski but keeping the shirts very wide, almost nothing is called by his name anymore. I would hate to sound nostalgic for an era that doesn’t even belong to me, but we’ve never been so far from the sober simplicity of the Hills and Mann’s where, oh, if you were a driver the movie was called The Driverif he was a thief the film was called thief.
From John Wick onwards, and I say it with the greatest enthusiasm for John Wick, the language of action has adopted (it existed even before, I know, but I hope we all agree that Kolstad codified it and transformed it into such a trademark) this rhetorical mechanism based on understatement soaked in irony that a shady and dangerous thing is called by the name of something trivial and ordinary. Let me give some examples that are better understood: John Wick goes to a hotel, but in reality it is a safe house for killers; makes a reservation at the restaurant, but in reality it is a service for the disposal of corpses; he goes to someone who calls himself “the sommelier” but actually supplies him with guns. In Nobody (also from Kolstad) Bob Odenkirk went “to the barber” who was actually a CIA agent. The whole saga of Kingsman is built around the fetish for tailored suits that are actually a cross between James Bond gadgets and Iron Man armor. Gunpowder Milkshake a 1950s diner was a hangout for killers and a library the armory and I could go on for a little while longer.
Let’s be honest, this gag the first time it makes you smile, the second time it makes you smile, the third time it broke my dick.
Here, in the light of all this, when I see that there is a gangster movie called The Outfit and in the posters there is Mark Rylance fully dressed surrounded by fabrics and tailor tools … I ask this film one thing, only one: that Mark Rylance is actually a tailor, that his shop is a real tailor’s shop , that people go there and make some fucking clothes. AND THAT ONLY IN A SECOND MOMENT the world of gangsters burst into history by upsetting the quiet existence of Mark Rylance, tailor. What instead I DO NOT WANT TO from this film is one of those situations where “the tailor” is the code name of a killer, where the tailor’s shop has secret passages and walls that turn and behind there is a collection of assault rifles, where “making a dress” is a euphemism for a commissioned murder.
What can I do, I’m a simple man and I want simplicity in my gangster movies set in the world of tailoring.
I say it right away so don’t worry about me until the end of the rece: yes, I was satisfied, but after 10 minutes I didn’t care anymore, I just wanted 4 hours of documentary on the making of clothes with Mark Rylance talking about everything ASMR of how to make a pattern or how to shorten a sleeve.
Regardless of this, or perhaps because of it, when crime breaks into the shop, relentless and unsolicited, it is quite a crime because it is exactly the crime you expect, as you expect it, but not where you expect it. That is, in a tailor’s shop. There are all the masks from the gangster movie, the wise don, the impulsive son, the stupid bodyguard and the sly bodyguard and the poor asshole who doesn’t have a shit to do with it; families at war with each other, exasperated loyalties, the inevitable mole hunt that then who knows if it really exists … they have great arguments and a flawless wardrobe (even women!). It’s the old school gangster movie, familiar atmosphere and streets, that we all wanted and nobody dared to ask because nowadays, my lady, it’s all a wink and break through the fourth wall, we only care that the story is reassuring and the actors who play it nice.
It is what is called a clockwork script, one of those stories where at the beginning it is a great chaos but now of the end every single thing fits perfectly in its place. The initial plans are upset by the unexpected and the unexpected turns out to be all part of the plan. Effectively, The Outfit has much of the structure of the heist – where the heist is not robbing a casino but bringing home the leather: a contest of intelligence and cold blood, but forced into two and a half rooms, with the action reduced to a minimum and turned like a chamber play. A beating chamber drama, I don’t see why not.
I expected, behind the typewriter – because such a film can only be written with a typewriter – a seasoned screenwriter or a nostalgic of the old days, perhaps a novelist who grew up in the slums of Chicago with a passion for tailor-made suits. . Instead Graham Moore is the hottie who made his debut by winning an Oscar for The Imitation Gamethe sciapo biopic on Alan Turing played by Doctor Strange a handful of years ago. The Outfit it is the second film he writes and the first he directs. Fuck you. He does it with such elegance, coolness and the hand so steady that I am undecided whether to forgive him The Imitation Game or believe in a case of homonymy. Maybe he’s an undercover genius. Or maybe he just had the intuition of hitting the right actor in the universe for a story like that. Either way, wow.
Don’t feel guilty if Mark Rylance’s name didn’t ring a bell right away. He is one of those theatrical actors with such a big cock that if he sways his pelvis when he is on stage he slaps the first eight rows, but for those who do not follow the Shakespeare Theatric Universe, in the cinema and on TV Rylance in the last 40 years has done for mostly supporting roles or minor characters in choral stories (only in recent years Don’t Look Up, The Chicago Trial 7, Dunkirk, The bridge of spies where he got an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor by blowing it, damn it, to Sly). It doesn’t surprise me that for us young adults the rest of the cast was immediately more recognizable, a triptych of ex-teen boni composed by Dylan O’Brien (that of Maze Runner And Teen Wolf), Johnny Flynn (that of Lovesick + David Bowie in the David Bowie movie who hasn’t seen anyone) and Zoey Deutch (Everybody Wants Some, Zombieland 2 and is the daughter of Lea Thompson, which I completely ignored). Good, good and charming just right, especially Deutch in the role of the tough girl who doesn’t let anyone put her feet on her head, but let’s be honest, there is a frightening disproportion: Rylance devours them and does not even leave the crumbs. In fact, the film ends after just an hour and 45 because by then Rylance had eaten everything, even the film.
The Outfit it is a wonderful surprise: it lasts the right, it says what it has to say, it does not act as a phenomenon and it is exactly what it says it is. Not everyone will like it but it won’t bother anyone, it won’t go down in history and it won’t make the box office record, but it keeps you glued to the screen for almost two hours. With that style and register that flatters the niche of a niche, it is the legendary mid-budget adult thriller that seemed extinct in the 90s. And that instead in recent years we are seeing appearing more and more often and in less obvious places. I begin to suspect that those who say “there is only Marvel” are saying this because they only look at Marvel.
“Ok but now give us the director’s cut in which Mark Rylance talks about men’s fashion for 4 hours straight”
Quantum Tarantino, i400calci.com
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