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A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at his job. Meanwhile someone is killing women in apparently drug-related incidents.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
When questioned about what the film's title meant, Willem Dafoe joked that the other two films in Schrader's trilogy of loners were titled after the key characters occupations. He jokingly said Schrader thought no one would watch a film if it was just called "Drug Dealer". See more »
Rare work of genius from erratic maverick Schraeder
I've never cared for his work before but Schraeder made an outstanding and penetrating low-budget feature with 'light Sleeper.' It's script is detailed and exceptional in it's depiction of people you can believe are real. It's perhaps too sympathetic towards drug pushers, people I usually have contempt for, but the lead character LeTour finds nothing but grief through his involvement. It dares to depict them not as cold assassins, but people who need each other and fall in love. LeTour's repetitive playing back of his estranged girlfriend's answer machine voice is particularly poignant. Not many film's tackle the issue of encroaching middle age and it's financial uncertainties, although many may find the depiction of drug dealing as 'just another job' offensive. Since being arrested may be a matter of unrelated chance, the characters rely on astral charts, crystal ball gurus and 'aura' specialists. This, being refugees from the mystical sixties counter culture, gives them a spurious sense of security. It's this very superstitious belief that his luck may be running out, that drives LeTour into paranoia and his own eventual downfall.
The weakness of this film is it's familiarity with Schraeder's other films, especially the diary, almost to the point of being a greatest hits tour. The ending is a straight lift from his own 'American Gigolo' and rather lazy redemption. The musical accompaniment to the action throughout is also not to my tastes artistically, but does not damage the picture. Performances, even to the smallest parts, are excellent. Willem DaFoe, an under-used resource in Hollywood, gives an emotional and gifted performance and Sarandon is superlative as ever.
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