Friday, 8 October 2010

Sea of Love


Sea of Love; Romantic crime drama, USA, 1989; D: Harold Becker, S: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker

Police detective Frank Keller gathers numerous criminals at a party and holds a speech where he tells them they are all under arrest. Then the police shows up and books them. Frank works successfully for 20 years now, but is rather depressive in private life because his wife left him. A series of murder shows up involving always the same pattern of men getting killed after going out an a date with an unknown woman, so Frank and his colleague Sherman start dating women who contact their adds. Frank meets blond Helen, a divorced mother of a girl, and starts a relationship with her despite the fact that she is suspicious. In the end, her ex-husband turns out as the killer, so Frank throws him from the balcony.

Gentle thriller "Sea of Love" is an excellent little film about loneliness of police officers in a big city. It pays out to see it for the great Al Pacino (nominated for a Golden Globe) and a caring eye for fine details: in one scene, the crime scene investigators are arguing over how many hours a man has been dead already; John Goodman's detective Sherman holds the glass from inside in order not to wipe out the suspects fingerprints whereas Pacino's Frank stops a police officer from putting his cigarette in the ashtray of the victim, arguing it is "forbidden to change anything on the scene of the crime". The well written screenplay by Richard Price ("Mad Dog and Glory") portrays wonderfully and meticulously the mentality of the police life, so much it's delicious to watch it, whereas the only serious complaint could be addressed towards the awfully banal plot twist which is unsatisfying. However, the majority of the film has inspiration, even towards the ending which became "accidentally legendary" when a passerby bumped into Pacino, but he just professionally kept on talking to Ellen Barkin on the street.

Grade:+++

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