Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker
Writers:  William Hjortsberg, Alan Parker
Cast:       Mickey Rourke, Rober De Niro, Lisa Bonet

Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) is a private detective in 1955 New-York. He gets a new case from the mysterious client Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to locate the whereabouts of a man called Johnny Favourite. The search leads him to a black magic world in Louisiana and it is a journey of self discovery.

The film is kind of a precursor to films like Jacob's Ladder and Devil's advocate and it didn't achieve much success during its run maybe because of  being ahead of its time. It manages to capture the characteristic sleaziness of 80s films. This was the first film I have seen of Mickey Rourke from his earlier days. The original novel was set entirely in New York whereas in this adaptation Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning) takes a detour to Louisiana and the location and settings felt very familiar having  recently watched HBO's 'True Detective'. The director doesn't really try to pull off a big twist in the end since it is made apparently very clear throughout the film through Angel's hallucinations and dreams. It is a very atmospheric psychological thriller  and the presence of Robert De Niro, albeit in a role with less of screen time, adds to the creepiness. He apparently impersonated Martin Scorsese for his portrayal. 

To sum it up it is a superior version of Devil's Advocate, which came much later, without the screen chewing from the Pacino like character.

Rating: 4/5