Manhunter ★★★★★

"Dream much, Will?"

The Black Hole of the Human Mind.

Manhunter may be the most despairing work of Michael Mann's filmography. The sterility of its bleached world, the morbid obsession shared between protagonist and antagonist, the fatalism of the central case, the unshakable presence of the slaughtered lambs. The film's attitude is one of utter bleakness as a traumatized profiler (William Petersen) returns to the field to catch a sadistic killer (Tom Noonan) bound to the lunar calendar. To do so, he must consult the very root of his psychological agony, the notorious Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox).

Haunting, cryptic, discomforting, and relentlessly atmospheric, there's a pervasive human darkness to every frame that Mann captures with alarming ease and dominating effect. I'm not sure where the film lands on the spectrum of "underrated" or "appreciated," but, in my opinion, Manhunter is one of the filmmaker's finest. A portrait of the interior landscapes where sanity and hope are merely dreams in the face of the exterior horrors that engulf us.

"And if one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is."

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