Scarface (1983)


A Cuban refugee is granted asylum in Florida and rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld to become a drug kingpin.

Some films capture the zeitgeist of the time in which they were made perfectly, often regardless of their quality. Brando’s The Wild One is one, Easy Rider is another. Brian De Palma’s Scarface is the epitome of the 1980’s; a tale of the single-minded and ruthless pursuit of wealth and possessions leading to emptiness and ultimate self-destruction in a sea of tacky excess, all set to a truly appalling soundtrack. And by the same measure of course, it is also very dated. It’s easy to see why Al Pacino’s Tony Montana became such an icon, but Scarface is truly a one man show; the direction is clumsy and unsophisticated and the peripheral characters and their relationships secondary and superficial at best. But Pacino’s performance is certainly something to behold.

Like the previously mentioned films, it’s definitely worth seeing once – if only for the sake of curiosity – but is also far from the cinematic masterpiece many make it out to be.



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