Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon ★★★★

Film Club Pick #4
Chosen by Jaewoo

"You know, I gotta keep them cooled out, I gotta keep all you people happy, I gotta have all the ideas and I gotta do it all alone."

It's clear as day that this film is based in reality. It never once loses a sense of authenticity, its characters are smart and its premise is sound. It even lacks a musical score, instead filling scenes with loud screaming or complete silence.

Dog Day Afternoon is just another demonstration of Sidney Lumet's talents. The direction captures intimacy and chaos, the two ends of the spectrum this film fluctuates with, frequently leaping from one side to the other. The tone is unbalanced; awkward comedy is scattered throughout, especially in the first half, but the air is also taught with tension and heat (I guess Lumet would be good at that considering 12 Angry Men). This off-beat style is frequently punctuated with its most powerful scenes, Al Pacino screams at the top of his lungs, absolute chaos in dialogue, or he quivers in fear and contemplates deeply. His performance and the character writing are the strongest tools of the film.

And his eventual motivation fits this strange, genre-less movie, it works completely and it gives a genuine heart to the movie. The characters are sympathetic and they give weight to this story. One with every reason to be told.

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