Thursday, July 02, 2009
Lefty is "worn"
This is my interpretation of Al Pacino's character "Lefty" from the magnificent "Donnie Brasco", made in 1997.
For me this has been Al Pacino's last great performance to date. For this role he dropped all the shouting and "HHHOOOHAWWS!!!" and just allowed the character of Lefty to consume him.
In the film Lefty is a worn out jaded working man for the mob going nowhere. You imagine that he was once sharp and full of ambition, eager to rise up the chain of command within the New York mafia, but now, he is straddled with debt, struggling to make monthly payments to his superiors, repeating himself in conversations and muttering to himself after one too many cocktails.
To me, Al Pacino is at his best when you look at the screen and you don't actually see Al Pacino. You see the characters he portrays.
In the Godfather he is Michael Corleone, at first honourable and largely innocent of the violent background from which he hails but later becomes corrupted by that very world that he had formerly resisted.
In Scarface he is Tony Montana, the macho asshole, seduced by the bright lights and riches that the American Dream claims to offer.
And in Donnie Brasco he is the ultimately doomed "Lefty".
I like to think that we've still to see at least once, another great performance from Pacino before he's done. The recent one's haven't been great to be honest.
From a personal point of view, I can't draw Al Pacino. I can't get the look right.
Can never get the eyes dark enough or the shape of his face right.
On this occasion though, I may have captured Lefty pretty well, although not nearly as good as Pacino did.