ReviewWriter: Ng SuzhenWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Killing Them Softly" may star Brad Pitt and received rave reviews, but it might not be the right cup of tea for movie-lovers in this part of the world unless you are immersed in American culture and politics.
If you are one who prefers action-filled entertainment, it is best to stay away from this movie. There is hardly any background music with most of the action coming out of conversation. However, if you are looking for a good story that reveals the dealings of a community unlike your own, then read on.
The movie plays with the Presidential election in the background amidst the financial crisis, mirroring the phenomenon that is affecting the local criminal economy as well.
The story introduces one to the world of crime that is similar to corporate dealings, except that when an employee is terminated, well, they literally get terminated.
When three criminals from a local crime community in Boston decide to rob a mob-protected poker game, the act gets the ball rolling in a 'corporate cleanup' that requires the assistance of hitman Jackie Cogan (Pitt), whose 'outfit' has had a long-term partnership with the mafia. Of course, with the fledgling US economy, agreeing on a salary is very much part of the meetings between Cogan and mafia emissary Driver (Richard Jenkins).
The outcome folds out from two sides of the coin with the robbers congratulating themselves with a clean escape while Cogan starts digging out the identities of the guilty parties. Smack in the middle of this is the proprietor of the gambling den, Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta), who is the root of the situation. Unable to remain tight-lipped about his criminal achievements, Markie had bragged that he was the man responsible for a previous robbery in his own den, laying out the foundation that the next hit might be an inside job as well.
Taking advantage of the situation, Johnny 'Squirrel' Amato (Vincent Curatola) arranges for Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) to commit the robbery. In the midst of it all, Mickey Fallon (James Gandolfini) is sub-contracted for a hit upon the request of Cogan in order to avoid killing an acquaintance. As Cogan puts it, he prefers to 'killing them softly' as opposed to a messy, emotional beg fest by the victim.
However, Fallon turns out to be just a shadow of his former self, which forces Cogan to take the situation into his own hands, including making plans to get rid of Fallon.
What looks like brutal dealings is just all in a day's work for Cogan and Driver. While the premise may circle around underground dealings, it chillingly hits close to home as it is relatable to everyday corporate dealings. All you need to do is hire the right person, get rid of the lousy employees and you will get a job well done at the end of the day. Of course, a well-deserved salary should also be negotiated for a day of good work. Maybe we are not that different after all.Cinema Online, 22 January 2013