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Review of After Hours (1985)

Not sure how this one got by me for so long, but glad I finally wised up. Imagine the lead character, Paul, as a straight-laced, nine-to-fiver pinball bouncing around helplessly and erratically through the bumpers, shoots, and ramps of SoHo New York, and you've given yourself a pretty good feel for the pace and unpredictability of this film. Strong and quirky, yet authentic, performances highlight nearly every scene, delivered by a talanted ensemble cast. Over the course of a night the characters weave in and out of each others lives, propelling the story forward with relentless energy. Scorsese's artistic vision seldom takes any breaks either, as the camera skillfully showcases the shadowy charms of the director's beloved city. Watching the movie, I never felt that Scorcese was exploiting SoHo for its eccentricities, but rather humorfully celebrating them, all the while responding to the often voiced complaint, "New York City is just too big! It's too anonymous." As the coincidental interconnections between Paul and the rest of the characters mount, so Paul's nightmare grows. Scorsese seems to be responding, with a sly smile, "Ok, sure. But the alternative is worse!"
Added by Xanadon't
8 years ago on 3 October 2010 11:42