Sunday, June 24, 2018

The 25th Hour

Movie Name: The 25th Hour
Year of Release: 2002
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson, Barry Pepper, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Tony Devon, Patrice O'Neal
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

After "Bamboozled" failed to find an audience and a warm critical reception, director Spike Lee bounced back with one of his finest films, "The 25th Hour". The film is an adaptation of the book by David Benioff (these days better known as one of the writers and creatives behind the behemoth that is "Game of Thrones"), and follows the story of Monty Brogan. The film takes place over the last day of freedom of Monty, since he is going to be incarcerated for drug trafficking. He plans on spending the day with his two best friends, Jacob and Frank, as well as his beautiful girlfriend Naturelle. Monty suspects that he was set up, and for a moment, he thinks Naturelle may have had something to do with it, but after visiting with his underground boss, the Russian Nikolai, he discovers that it was someone else altogether. Monty fears for his safety and life in the prison, and asks his friends to help him, before he sets out to fulfill his sentence.
Spike Lee has always been an interesting director, one who marries an acute stylistic approach, with a focus on the urban fissures and the challenges felt by the African American community. "The 25th Hour" may at first glance feel like an odd choice for him to tackle, but on closer inspection, it's a film about the strains, frictions, tensions that exist within the American society, particularly the ones in NY, which is a condensed microcosms, and something he explored in prior films. It's also a film that looks head on to the impact created by terrorism, and how people have had to reshape their thinking and their lives, in order to be able to move on and continue living. The film has a fantastic cast, with Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brian Cox all creating memorable performances, the same going for the beautiful cinematography from Rodrigo Prieto. A very good film always worth watching.