final rosie 🔪 (on hiatus)’s review published on Letterboxd:
manhunter, or: white men with curly hair attempt to catch a killer.
ok, seriously though, this film is amazing. it's so captivating and colourful, with a killer soundtrack too. and the aesthetic is wonderful - I saw another reviewer describe it as techno gothic and I think that describes it perfectly. I would also describe it as neon gothic, because the usage of bright colours against deep shadow is so contrasting. as the poster suggests, I suppose.
the score emphasises scenes without drowning them completely, giving some moments, especially will's big revelation before the final climax, a dream-like, almost euphoric quality. in fact it all plays like one long dream sequence. the grainy, muted texture that overlays the entire film only intensifies this feeling. manhunter felt a little like twin peaks if it had been made in the 80s, was a lot scarier, and was set in florida & missouri.
because of the beauty of the lighting, sets, and framing, and the pensive quality that lay over everything (helped immensely by the score) the two hour run time on this felt like nothing. most films of that length take me a few hours to watch but I blitzed through this in one go. I will definitely be checking out more of michael mann's work as soon as I can.