Nick is desperate, holed up in a cheap hotel, suffering from an ulcer and convinced that a local mobster wants him killed. He calls Mikey, his friend since childhood, but when Mikey arrives...
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Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.
Nick is desperate, holed up in a cheap hotel, suffering from an ulcer and convinced that a local mobster wants him killed. He calls Mikey, his friend since childhood, but when Mikey arrives, Nick won't let him in: his moods swing. So begins a long night as Mike tries to take care of Nick, calm him down and get him out of town. Their sojourn - on foot and in a city bus - takes them to a bar, a club, toward a movie theater, to the cemetery where Nick's mom is buried, and to Nick's girlfriend's apartment. Tempers fray and the friendship is tested. Meanwhile, a hit man who's getting information from someone is indeed looking for Nick. Written by
This film stuck with me for a few days. Peter Falk (Mikey) and Cassavetes (Nicky) give powerful performances and the film makes one wonder 1) if Mikey intends to go through with his dirty job all along and 2) while Nicky seems to know intellectually that it is likely that his friend could betray him, does he believe it or not? When Nicky spontaneously takes Mikey to his mother's grave, it seems that it is not really to pay respect to his mother before he dies but rather to remind his friend that death is final and that if Mikey kills him he'll be killing an irretrievable part of his past. Nicky yells out, "Mom, if anything happens to me Mikey did it!!" This seems to force Mikey to think a bit more deeply about the job he's embarking on; it won't be so easy for him to see his job through to the end. But near the film's end, Mikey tells his wife a story from his childhood that Nicky had reminded him of in the graveyard--does Mikey tell his wife the story as it really happened? The film leaves room for interpretation, but one thing is clear; the night that Mikey and Nicky spend together they are both forced to face their shmuckhood--- not something that either of them are very good at. A must see, especially for Falk and Cassavete fans.
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