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Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Frank Keller is a New York detective investigating a case of a serial killer who finds the victims through the lonely hearts column in newspapers. Keller falls in love with Helen, the main suspect in the case. Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Al Pacino is excellent as the lonely and alcoholic Frank Keller, a veteran New York City cop, hot on the trail of a serial killer. In addition to Keller, and his tough-minded romantic interest, Helen, played well by Ellen Barkin, a third major character is the city wherein the story takes place. Ronnie Taylor's noirish cinematography and Trevor Jones' appropriately downbeat score paint rather a lonely picture of nighttime Manhattan, with all that colorful and flashy neon and the dreary rain. The overall effect is a sense of psychological isolation, alienation, and ... danger.
It's a perfect setting for a story about a series of murders, seemingly tied together by oldies-but-goodies songs. Keller searches for a killer who seems normal, but on the inside is a smoldering volcano. As a murder mystery, "Sea Of Love" works, because of its focus, and because of its restrictive narration. The viewer knows what Frank Keller knows, but nothing more. Clues are very subtle, and lie more in what is not said, than what is said. The ending was a surprise to me. I did not see it coming.
I have a couple of problems with the film, neither of which is serious. First, there are several plot segments that seem unnecessary, and could have been edited out. Second, certain scenes involving the victims are confusing.
"Sea Of Love" is a mystery/thriller that I recommend highly. It is psychologically intense, and it has an atmosphere that is suitably sinister. The acting, the music, the cinematography, the script, and the production design are all credible. And I could listen all day to that oldies-but-goodies song by Phil Phillips, from 1959.
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