KO Review Manhattan Night
A KO Review by Emily Mody
Manhattan Night is a drama/mystery film directed by Brian DeCubellis. Manhattan Night is, without a doubt, a throwback to the film noir genre of the 1940’s and 50’s. The story follows Porter Wren (played by Adrien Brody), a well-known Manhattan based reporter. One evening when Wren attends a work party he meets a mysterious woman named Caroline Crowley (played by Yvonne Strahovski). Wren quickly learns that she has sought out his skills in determining the truth behind her late husband’s death. As the mystery begins to unfold, Wren’s story spirals into an infinitely more complex situation than he had originally bargained for. His family’s safety and his own safety are called into question as Wren embarks on a dangerous game that he can’t seem to resist.
I really enjoyed Manhattan Night. This film is dark, sexy, mysterious, and dramatic. To be honest, I didn’t even realize this genre was something I was craving until I started watching it. The acting is excellent and the story keeps you completely gripped the entire time. I absolutely loved Caroline Crowley. She is elegant and sophisticated but also broken and sincere. It is difficult for me to pinpoint exactly what it is that I enjoyed so greatly about her character but perhaps it is that enigmatic knowing that makes her character so compelling.
The only negative thing I really have to say is that there were various interior monologues given by Wren’s character throughout the film. I like the idea of these monologues but the execution was poor. A lot of times these monologues came off cheesy. Perhaps it was something about the music or the contents of Wren’s thoughts that was just a little too cliché during these moments.
Manhattan Night reminded me of Chinatown directed by Roman Polanski. The tone and feeling is so similar. The darkness and drama of the characters lives in both films are so comparable. There is also something to be said for the overall feeling of doom and inevitability that encompasses the entirety of both plots. Both films demonstrate the femme fatale archetype. This is demonstrated through the male protagonists that are compelled to help these women against their better judgment. There is a very strong sense of a fatalistic worldview in both films and the understanding that there is little to be done about our fate. All in all, I know I’m making both of these films sound pretty depressing but in actuality I think there is something so delicious about the darkness that is being portrayed here. There is something so seductive and comforting about just giving in. For those of you who do not have the luxury to live the darkness yourselves, Manhattan Night gives you the means to live vicariously through Porter Wren and Caroline Crowley.
In the United States,Manhattan Night is rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence, and language. Manhattan Night would make a good date night movie for couples interested in a compelling mystery. I would also recommend this film to anyone who has a passion for film noir or if you just love a good mystery drama.
As the film is based on the book “Manhattan Nocturne,” by Colin Harrison, we thought it would be fun to give away books, leading up to the premier date in Toronto. To enter the contest giveaway just retweet KatinaOlson’s tweet on twitteror repost on facebook to be entered to win the book 🙂