IR Film Review: CAPONE [Vertical]

The texture of psychology is based on perception of the man being examined. While “Capone” as a new film, in many ways, is an interesting construct, it is a little too abstract and unfocused to truly give a concept of the man or be based on any prospect of what he is thinking. As far as a sheer physical manifestation, Tom Hardy, of course, does an adequate job. Taking into the basis with Bane and Max, one can see the progression but also his want to think outside the normal which seems to be his ouerve . He usually says much by not a lot as with some roles. Any remembrance when Hardy was svelte and smooth in “Inception” seems like a long time ago. This act in Capone’s life that writer /director Josh Trank focuses on is after the gangster is released from prison (presumably Alcatraz) because he had neuro-syphilis and had dementia (which is interesting since Capone died when he was only 48). Granted that diagnosis was probably something else.

The location is primarily at his home in Palm Island, Florida which still stands today, While one tends to want to see some reflexivity in his character (and maybe slight remorse – and there is), there is almost no basis in fact for it. While some of the images are lurid, the motivations are not and fall short. There is one consistent which plays back into his real world which has to do with a mystery in Cleveland. This part of the process seems viable but doesn’t really work full circle. However the climax at  the end does not, while seemingly an ode in many ways to both the 1930s “Scarface” and the 1980s version, satisfy. It is more trying to be poignant while still being bad-ass in a way though it is mostly sad. But again it comes out of Capone’s mania with little or no explanation because it says so little beyond his base primal nature (which is likely control).

That said the film looks beautiful and some of the imagery shows the intent that Trank had when he made “Chronicle” but also highlights problems that perhaps followed later. The narrative while indicative of good acting is not clear. The acting from all places is poignant and intense but sometimes without any grounding. The cast including Linda Cardellini and Matt Dillon are alert, at rimes subtle and focused but they are left with not much to do. Hardy puts his might into Capone but it requires and balance between subtlety and bombast, most of the time without dialogue. Again the problem is that there needs to be a bit more explanation of his reaction and not just simple bewilderment which is the face he often wears here. The themes of paranoia and secret abounding of course are present but what it all means even circumspect is fairly hollow. Whether Capone feels remorseful for the death he causes, actually cares about his family in certain ways, believes in loyalty or is just a control freak are good questions. But they are brought up again in a very circumspect manner while not bringing any of these thoughts to true fruition. “Capone” is an interesting idea and tries to think outside the box, but in doing so seems to flail quite a bit without ever truly finding what it is looking for.

D

By Tim Wassberg

Posted on May 14, 2020, in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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