170 Min | Crime – Drama | November 1983
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Scarface Review: “Scarface” has a major cult following even now. It has also been widely criticized as being very tacky, unrefined, over-the-top and all bloated up. These are people who compare Scarface to The Godfather movies. It is true that on the technical front, (cinematography, screenplay, direction, etc.) Scarface is way behind ‘The Godfather’. But it is also true, that what Scarface has and some other gangster movies lack, is the rawness, the sheer crude approach of the gangsters. The Latino gangsters in this movie look much more menacing and real than any of the polished Italian or Irish gangsters from other gangster classics like ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Goodfellas’. This is one of the major winning points of Scarface. Both these movies are way too different from each other and should be seen as two different movies instead of praising the original over the “remake”.
Al Pacino has been criticized to be over-the-top and loud in “Scarface”. But how about considering that that is precisely the way the film-makers wanted Tony Montana’s character to be. He is this angry young man who takes hasty decisions and throws fits of tantrum every other minute. He is not the calm Michael Corleone here. He is Tony Montana, a very tacky, uneducated individual who doesn’t really think much and gets angry all the time. There is definitely a very 80s feel to this movie. The soundtrack is all 80s. There are some memorable and beautifully shot sequences, including the famous chainsaw scene, the Rebenga hit, the first meeting with Sosa and Tony’s visit to his mother’s.
Steven Bauer shines as Tony’s friend Manny. Robert Loggia is wonderful as Tony’s boss, Lopez. So is F. Murray Abraham (as Omar) in a small role. Then there is some eye-candy in the form of Elvira played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She looks beautiful and is adequate in her role. The director does go a bit overboard during a particular part in the climax. “Scarface” is definitely one of the most entertaining and one of the best gangster movies to ever come out. Enjoy it for what, it is a raw portrayal of the Drug Lords and their gangland!