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  • Mona Lisa
    • Mona Lisa
    • Runtime:104 min
    • Release Date:2013-05-18 21:39:48
    • Director: Neil Jordan
    • Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Mona Lisa
Auhtor:

   

Viewers not conditioned to the rich Cockney slang will miss some of the
flavor of this tense and emotional English drama, starring Bob Hoskins
as a small time ex-con (with a heart of only slightly tarnished gold)
hired to chaperone an elegant call girl through a midnight netherworld
of London vice and corruption. The setting recalls some of the
nightmare urban landscapes of Martin Scorsese, but the film resists any
easy comparison by adding an element of compassion to the unsettling
background of violence and pornography. The plot itself, concerning the
search by a reluctant Hoskins and his companion for another missing
girl, is more mystery than thriller, but not the parlor room whodunit
of classic British mystery. This is a more complex mystery of human
emotions, set amidst the wreckage of sexual exploitation. The only
miscalculation is the sappy ballad (performed by pop rockers Phil
Collins and Genesis) included strictly as a cosmetic filler and
soundtrack album highlight.

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I was completely blown away and amazed at how brilliant this film is,
and how underrated it's become since it came out. The title is based on
the Nat King Cole song "Mona Lisa", which he sings about the famous Da
Vinci painting and the mystery that surrounds it – and film revokes
around that same painful mystery of a what a certain woman wants, and
what she has experienced.

The film opens with that song, with the male lead character, George
walking to his daughter's house after his release from prison. Looking
for work as a chauffeur for his gangster boss, he is appointed to a
high class, sophisticated black prostitute, Simone, to drive her
around. She is annoyed at first by his appearance, but slowly begins to
trust him, fitting him into new clothes. But as soon as she has faith
in him, she eventually drags him in to a dangerous pursuit and rescue
of a young girl, forced into prostitution. Led into the underworld of
porn, sleaze, clubs and street mayhem, George, who unfortunately falls
for Simone, questions whether his job is worth it or not and will he or
Simone could survive it.

One of the many themes of this movie is the unrequited love of Simone,
a beautiful hooker who cannot be possessed, that George develops, and
the difficult subject of underage forced prostitution and sadism. Bob
Hoskins shines at the top of his acting game as George, showing both
fierceness as well as sensitivity to the role, making it a perfect
match and a well deserved Oscar nominated portrayal. Cathy Tyson was
also perfect as the Mona Lisa – like Simone, and Michael Caine appears
as the ruthless king pin Mortwell.

Adding to the mix is the great music, the theme song by Genesis and the
dark atmospheric look of London's night spots. All this made me want to
see the film again and again, thinking about something different that I
saw in it each time. In my opinion, the key to a good movie is wanting
to see it again right after it finishes. It's just too bad Hoskins
didn't win the Oscar and Cathy Tyson disappeared without a trace over
the years. Although it's sometimes bleak, it's a gorgeous piece of art,
just like the painting.

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