Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)


Stars :Al Pacino,John Cazale,Charles Durning,James Broderick,Chris Sarandon.

Director :Sidney Lumet.

A 12 hrs ordeal summed up superbly in 2 hrs is Dog Day Afternoon.Sidney Lumet's another master piece and I believe this movie could be one of the best ever screen adaptation and presentation of a real life incident.

First time robbers Sonny ,Sal and one of their accomplice run into a bank in the broad day light.The third partner is freaked out as they pull out their guns and is allowed to leave .Sonny and Sal plan to do it quickly so they ask the manager to open the vault and get the cash out.Sonny and Sal expected a huge money but what was available was just $1100 as the money was picked up that afternoon.As they were about to leave Sonny tries to burn the cash register which generates a lot of smoke.The smoke is noticed by an insurance guy across the street and he comes to check in ,but the manager is able to send him away .A few minutes later the manager's phone starts ringing ,when he picks it up he discovers the call is for Sonny.The call is from a detective right across the street.The cops were alerted by the person across street and have surrounded the bank.What happens during the next 12 hrs is what the movie is all about.

Al Pacino is he a legend or do we need to create a new category for him? Every movie starting him that I watch just keeps on adding to the persona of this man.Dog Day Afternoon is another brilliant performance by Al Pacino.Being a first time robber the initial hesitation and fear is clearly visible on AL Pacino's face.As Sonny he is amazing ,he brings the restlessness, anxiety, fear and the pain within Sonny just alive on the screen.At no point in the movie you feel that he is just enacting a character, it all feels so real.Another thing about him in the movie is , he looks damn handsome in this one.John Cazale as Sal is perfect,I liked his performance in the Godfather as Fredo but after this one I am a fan of this brilliant actor.I feel sorry that he left us so early but even in his very short career he made his mark.John showcases the God fearing ,volatile and scared side of Sal brilliantly,he made me feel sorry when the movie ends.He convinced me to feel pity for his character with such natural portrayal.I feel the movie had one of the best ensemble of actors for the cast.each and every character was brilliantly marked out and was played out exceptionally.

Sidney Lumet ,what a brilliant director he is ,I loved his 12 Angry Men and I am ardent follower and hard core fan of the man after watching Dog Day Afternoon.He just lights up the screen with his brilliant and almost real like direction.I don't know whom should the credit go but they kept in mind even the minutest details of Sonny skidding as he runs in a hurry from one point to another.The set and the whole set up of the also added to the authentic feel of the movie .I felt the movie was funny too,some situation and dialogue were irony or probably the master strokes as they really added to the characters.The relationship between the bank workers held hostage and our robbers Sonny and Sal is kind of sweet and funny.

I was completely hooked to this 2 hrs long drama and would like to say that ,it may be very difficult to find a more real looking movie than this one.The characters look real ,the sets and surrounding looked authentic and to top it all the performances felt so real.If you haven't seen this one yet then do it ASAP coz I feel though Al Pacino got an Academy award for "Scent of a Woman" ,his performance in this one was better and he deserved an Oscar much earlier.

Plus :Al Pacino ,John Cazale, Almost the whole cast, brilliant direction and excellent screenplay.

Minus :Dont think there were any.

Rating :9/10

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