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.
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.
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.