Detective Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) takes us through his shattered life after encountering the most deadly (and deceptive) criminal he has ever had to deal with. It doesn't help that Grimladi is playing both sides against the middle. When he encounters Demarkov (Lena Olin) he thinks he can play her as he has all the other women in his life...including his wife. But Demarkov knows Jack better than he knows himself. She plays him mercilessly, all the while threatening to kill him when she tires of the game.Written by
Written and Performed by Abbey Lincoln
(c) 1990 Moseka Music, administered by Howe Sound Music
Courtesy of PolyGram S.A. France See more »
Every time its May 1 or December 1, I think of this movie. It means something, it must be good to leave that kind of impression on me. When a movie sticks in your mind, even if its just one quote, for so long after you have seen it (and the last time I saw it was 3 or 4 years ago) it means it can't be bad. So thats one thing. Another thing is that it has absolutely top notch cast. Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Michael Wincott, Juliette Lewis, Annabella Sciorra, Will Patton and James Cromwell-all serious and talented actors. And the story is very interesting too. I mean you have this so-flawed main character who is at the same time very human and even sympathetic in a way that he's lost, he can't really help all the mess he's got himself in. It is a very human character, no? And in the end he does the right thing, but is it too late? Seems so. This movie is just about that-how we sometimes don't wake up and see the light until we have lost everything that was dear to us.
What is the flaw with the movie? Maybe its that it didn't perhaps get everything it could from such an interesting storyline. I mean, corrupt cop who's in the mafia's pocket and cheats on his wife yet loves her, then gets caught in the dangerous game with a deadly Russian criminal who is a man eater at the same time...well, maybe not after all. Its a movie that succeeds in pulling it all together rather well and at the same time making us stay on the edge of our seat to see whats gonna happen next. Not many American modern movies have done that. I can mention one that came out the same year as this one, Carlito's Way. But that is a different story and genre really. That was a gangster film noir with a love story thrown in, this is both a film noir and a love story. Thats why the title is ROMEO is Bleeding.
Gary Oldman makes one of his strongest performances and the same can perhaps be said for Olin, who is very convincing and menacing in her part as the deadly seductress whose only aim is to devour everything in her path. The ending leaves us in doubt to what really happened, there is no typical Hollywood ending and thats good. It again mirrors how things really go in life as Jack is left on his own waiting anxiously for his wife but nobody, not even he, knows if he will ever see her again. And thats art imitating life.
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