“Say Hello To My Little Friend!”
October 31st, 2010
Brian De Palma's 1983 classic Scarface, is good as it is iconic; even in our modern era. Al Pacino gives a stellar performance as Tony Montana a ruthless individual who will stop nowhere for his goals and ideals. I personally think that Al Pacino's performance as Tony Montana is better than his performance as Don Michael Corleone, but that's mostly personal taste. Steven Bauer plays Tony's best friend and partner in crime Manny Ribera, a more lax individual who's interest deviate elsewhere and are much more humble compared with Tony's. Both are loyal fellow Cubans who share a sense of brotherhood due to their shared nationality. Despite their strong personality differences they could not be closer.
The movie in it's rawest form is a story about the corruption of greed and the places it eventually leads everyone who smiles under its embrace. Tony Montana is ruthless on all levels. He doesn't take shit from anyone. He's the most dangerous kind of criminal, the kind with ambition.
The story starts with a short narrative explaining Fidel Castro's excursion of refugees from Mariel harbor Cuba. This is supposedly a gesture to reunite the refugees with their family's. However it is later explained that Castro is actually loading Cuba's most wanted onto the boat headed to Miami, Florida. Amongst them Tony Montana and Manny Ribera. Upon arrival in America both receive a less than warm welcome. They are placed in a refugee camp for a while, until outside friends are able to get them green cards in exchange for a "little" job. A hit on one of Castro's once trusted advisers. This is a pivotal scene because it's the first one where we see the more ruthless side of Tony. In fact upon hearing about the job he says: "I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice. "
After attaining their green cards you get to see more of Tony's discontent about his own personal status. Working as a dishwasher for a open Latino diner. A cheap greasy place stationed across the street from a rather lucrative club. Tony expresses his discontent every chance he gets. Comparing himself with the club goers across the street. "What's he got that I don't?"
Manny arranges for them some side work in illegal drug trafficking. He and Tony are both offered an underpayment to help complete a shipment. Manny is keen to immediately take the money their offered. Tony on the other hand isn't content. He wants his moneys worth. He gets into a fight with the man giving them the job, Omar (F. Murray Abraham) who in turn offers them a job he expects them to get killed on. He asks them to pick up a shipment of cocaine from some Colombians. He offers him five grand for the completion of the job.
Needless to say he completes the job, very well in fact. Throughout the movie you see more and more of Tony Montana's ruthless personality, and let's face it. No one can swear like AL Pacino. Intense drama develops throughout the film between the different characters. Each character brings something else to the table for the catharsis. Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) is the small time drug boss that gives Tony his first job. He is a man who enjoys the money he receives with gluttony but has no vision from Tony's perspective. Omar is a rather shifty individual that doesn't really like Tony from the get go, and Tony doesn't express any opinion about until later in the film. Then there are Tony's loyal lackeys, Chi Chi (Angel Salazar) and Ernie (Arnaldo Santana). Chi Chi is forever loyal to Tony, though Ernie has a rather awkward relationship with Tony that is easily explained from watching the film.
In conclusion this is an excellent film that I believe everyone should see.