Alan Parker paints a picture that is rich, dark and dank. While his flashy visual style may seem like sloppy editing, it poetically leaves a viewer with an odd, disorienting series of partial memories that blur in and out of one another. His script is equally as clever, if at times in need of tightening. Many small snippets of dialogue including the metaphorical rhetoric of Cyphre and the constant self-contradiction of Angel are easy to overlook in a single viewing. The dialogue gives lots of clues just like the ones Harry Angel has to work with: some subtle, some glaringly obvious.
Angel Heart has always had the unfortunate stigma of being the scandalous, raunchy debut of Cosby kid Lisa Bonet. That preconception does a disservice to the film and the actress. Bonet is well cast and very comfortable in the role. While maybe not Oscar caliber, her acting abilities are more than sufficient and hold up to the test quite well. While the press on this film mostly went to Bonet, the real treat of the film is Robert DeNiro. While not his most demanding role, he gives brooding grace and charisma to Cyphre that would be hard to match by another actor. His limited yet potent presence fuels the film’s fire.
The sex in Angel Heart is intense, in your face and may seem at a glance tawdry and pandering to the lowest common denominator. While it may be graphic and over the top, the sex in Angel Heart is very important to the story. Sexual tension builds alongside the unraveling mystery, culminating in the film’s single, climactic sex scene. That one scene is raw in its lascivious brutality, but it solidifies the bond between evil of the flesh and evil of the soul.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the work of 16th century writer playwright Christopher Marlowe, you will most likely recognize the Faustian theme of Angel Heart. Alan Parker remains true to the core story of a deal with the Devil, but gives it a kick and twist. “Mephistopheles is a mouthful in Manhattan,” says Cyphre. In Angel Heart, the name has gotten around anyway. That’s a bad thing for Harry Angel, but a treat for any viewer in the mood for something a little gritty, a little steamy, and a lot devilish.
2,32GB | 1 h 53 min | 1024×556 | mkv