Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mean Streets

I just watched Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets - finished watching the movie with a glass of Californian Merlot called Fetzer along with Planter's Mixed Nuts! The whole package was especially awesome after I ran the 4-5 brisk laps of the Pershing Field park at Summit Avenue.

The movie is amazing - makes me wonder that even in 1973 people like Marty were already at the cutting edge of cinema (the art form as we know it today). Anything in art/cinema that triggers off a thought process is worth its time. The movie offers no solutions it only asks questions. Harvey Kietel plays the role of Charlie - a small time mobster in New York's Little Italy. His friend Johnny Boy (De Niro) is always a problem for him. Johnny has a gambling habit and owes people money. The loan sharks one of them called Michael (played by Richard Romanus) are always looking for Johnny to settle their debts. Charlie is romantically involved in a clandestine relationship with Teresa (Amy Robinson) who is also Johnny's cousin. Things come at a head when Michael threatens Charlie that Johnny better pay back the $3000 he owes to Michael. Charlie negotiates with him and they mutually agree for $2000 instead. Johnny discovers the relationship between Charlie and his cousin Teresa and threatens to expose it to Teresa and Charlie's families (Charlie's uncle is a businessman/public figure). When Michael is finally able to talk with Johnny Boy in front of Charlie and few other guys at the bar things flare up. Johnny tells Michael that he (Michael) is basically a jerk off and Johnny borrowed money from him because no one else would lend him and he figured he would not need to pay back Michael. He also pulls out a gun (probably the same 0.38 caliber he was shooting on rooftop just for fun) earlier in the movie).

Charlie decides to escape the neighborhood with Johnny. Teresa insists on coming along and the three of them head away (I think towards Brooklyn). In the last scene of the movie Michael along with a henchman shoots Johnny several times in the neck while driving alongside them on the road. It is later shown that the Police arrives at the shooting spot and helps Charlie.

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