#269 -- Heartless (2009)

Rating: 4 / 5
Director: Philip Ridley

I had been eye-balling this movie on Netflix for quite a while, but I was never really sure what to expect from it. I finally saw the trailer, which made me even more intrigued, but I still waited a little while to watch it. I was intrigued, but at the same time hesitant, for reasons unknown. Usually when this happens, I end up enjoying the movie. This was no different.

Heartless is the story of a young man in London named Jamie. He was born with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face (as well as running down the length of one of his arms). Jamie was played by Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe), who is a gorgeous man, if you ask me. The birthmark only made him slightly less gorgeous. He was still very beautiful, but it caused him to feel extremely insecure. All that he wanted was to fall in love and have a family, things he felt his appearance made impossible. You can sense that he's never been in a relationship, and was probably a virgin at twenty-five--which is sad, since he was such an intelligent, creative and beautiful person, inside and out.

Eventually, he started seeing strange reptilian creatures on the streets of London. They wore hoodies, killed innocent people with molotov cocktails, and people thought they were associated with a gang run buy some guy named "She". He saw these things on a daily basis, and he began to feel very frightened and paranoid. When the creatures caught up with him and killed his mother, the only thing he felt from that moment on was rage. He wanted his revenge. He set out to kill the things (but of course was never successful), which brought him to the attention of Papa B, the devil-like person described in the synopsis. Papa B informs him that, even though there are several natural disasters in the world, Mother Nature can't always take care of the chaos that the world needs. That's where he and his demons come in. He wanted Jamie to help him in his quest to bestow chaos unto the world, and as payment for his help, he could have one wish. We all know what his wish was. Papa B removed his birthmark by setting Jamie on fire, turning him into a walking mass of charred flesh. Jamie peeled off the charred skin, and what lay underneath was a smoother, birthmark-free Jamie. Papa B promised that all Jamie would have to do was some graffiti, and their deal would be even. He would be visited by a man they called "Weapons Man," to let him know when his contribution would be required. Once Weapons Man showed up, though, Jamie realized that Papa B had lied.

Weapons Man put Jamie's information into a computer, which determined what sort of chaos he would have to do. So in reality, Papa B didn't know what exactly Jamie would do at all. The computer told him that he would have to kill someone--cut their heart out and place it on a church step before the end of the full moon. Weapons Man had a magical stick that would lead them to the weapon Jamie would have to use in his act. It turned out to be one of Jamie's dead father's favorite knives, making the act even more horrendous for him.

Jamie, of course, wasn't a killer. He didn't want to kill anyone, and he was outraged at the fact that Papa B lied to him. But he injured him until he agreed. Papa B had an assistant as well, a little Indian girl named Belle. She sort of acted as Jamie's spirit guide, helping him out with the crime he would have to commit. She was the main reason that Jamie went through with it--because he thought that Papa B would kill her too if he didn't. Eventually, the two grew very close and Belle started calling him Dad.

After he killed a random guy out on the streets (who happened to be a male prostitute and thought Jamie was going to pay him for some sexual favors), he met a girl named Tia and fell in love. Or at least he thought he did. There was some betrayal (by Tia and Jamie's nephew, who really was involved with She's gang), and things didn't turn out quite like he'd expected. Also, Papa B was angry that Belle had grown so attached to Jamie, so he started asking more of him. He wanted him to kill more people, to cause more chaos. But Jamie was finished, and he was prepared to fight to keep Belle and not have to kill anyone else.

I think Heartless was a beautiful movie. The cinematography was stunning, even though it was set in a sort of ghetto town in London. Everything looked spectacular. The effects were great, the acting was magnificent, and the story was definitely interesting. Also, it was sweet. There were some heartwarming moments thrown in among all the chaos--like when Jamie discovered that his birthmark had actually never been removed. Papa B just made it so that Jamie couldn't see it, which made him feel more confident and he was able to go out and meet someone. People still thought he was beautiful, even with the birthmark, so long as he acted like he did too. It really is a beautiful story, even with all the murder and betrayal and demons. Now that I've watched it, I really can't tell you why I waited. I guess I just wasn't sure about it. But make no mistakes, it's a movie that's definitely worth seeing. The beautiful cinematography, the horrors that are the real world and the fantasy world, and those kick ass reptile guys. It all comes together to make a very interesting ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment