Sunday, 24 October 2010

The American

Cast: George Clooney, Irina Bjorkland, Lars Hjelm, Johan Leysen, Paolo Bonacellie
Director: Anton Corbjin

The American follows an assassin (Clooney) who has become tired of his lonely and isolated existence.  Opening in a nordic scene we see Clooney's lover killed and he has to rush away to hiding from a group who are out to get him.  The film followas a conventional plot of 'one last mission' in which Jack/Edward (his true identity is never actually revealed) uses his skills as a master craftsman to produce an exceptional weapon.
The camera follows Clooney throughout however the limited dialogue means we learn very little about our protagonist except his acute paranoia.  This however is justified as we come to see at the end of a film with a clever twist.  As he develops his life in an isolated Italian village we see a relationship develop with a prostitute and also the town's priest.  It is the opportunity for a life with companionship which persuades Jack/Edward (Clooney) to find away around his difficult situation and attempt to find another way to live.

Without such a charismatic and strong lead this film would not work.  It feels closer to an art house production than a blockbuster, with a very slow moving plot, minimal dialogue and incredible photographic shots throughout, however it's a mesmerizing and interesting story which I really enjoyed.