Sunday, 22 April 2012

Angel Heart (4½ Stars)

1955. Mickey Rourke stars as Harry Angel, a small time private detective who lives and works in Harlem, New York. He specialises in domestic cases, following husbands, petty stuff in general. One day a mysterious stranger, played admirably by Robert De Niro, hires him to track down a singer; Johnny Favorite, who hasn't been seen for 12 years. Supposedly Johnny has been lying in a hospital severely wounded all this time, but it's recently become apparent that he isn't there.

Harry takes on the case, but soon realises that it isn't as straight forward as he expected. He interviews the doctor at the hospital, who confirms that Johnny had been removed from the hospital shortly after admission, but then he kills himself before giving further information. Harry travels to New Orleans to speak to Johnny's old friends, but everyone he speaks to ends up dead, and worse still, the police suspect that Harry is the murderer.

This is a stylish dark film. It has all the characteristics of film noir, but it's mixed with religious imagery, both Christian and voodoo. The film's atmosphere is as fascinating as the mystery itself.

Click here to view the trailer.

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