'The Iceman'; Michael Shannon melts your heart as Iceman

Film: "The Iceman"; Cast: Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, James Franco, Ray Liotta, Stephen Dorff, Winona Ryder; Director: Ariel Vromen; Rating: *** 1/2

A well-crafted film by Ariel Vromen is a gangster-drama based on the true story of a contract killer who terrorised New Jersey in the US for over a decade from early 1960s to mid-1970s.

It is the story of Richie Kuklinski (Michael Shannon), a shy and hardworking man who would give an arm and a leg to see his family - wife and two daughters - happy.

In the very early stage of his married life, while working as a delivery guy in the porn industry, his path crosses that of a local mobster, Roy Demeo. His unflinching stare appeals to Roy who puts Kuklinski on his pay roll.

With his stoic appearance and a cold heart, Kuklinski is magnetically drawn into crime as if he is a natural-born killer. This becomes his profession and his source of livelihood, which is unknown to his family.

Over a period of time, Kuklinski, also known as Pollack in the world of crime, is a dreaded as well as a sought after man.

Robert Pronge aka Mr. Freezy, another eerie semi-freelance killer, who moves about in an ice-cream van, cajoles Pollack to join him but Pollack, a Roy loyalist, refuses his offer.

Unfortunately, all is not well at Roy's front and Pollack is laid off. So, he unwittingly joins Robert who teaches him the art of freezing bodies and disposing them several days after the hit, so that the cops can't get a time of death and that's how he earns the title of "The Iceman".

Micheal Shannon convincingly renders a sturdily haunting performance as Kuklinski. He stabs, shoots and sprays cyanide without any guilt or remorse. The only time, he falters or shows a sympathetic streak is when on "an assignment to kill" he lets go off a 17-year-old girl who is a witness to his crime and this too he does so credibly that reveals what a loving and concerned father he is.

And with equal measure his manic streak unfurls when he chases a car with his family in tow.

Of the supporting cast, the charismatic and emotional Ray Liotta as Roy Demeo proves to be a fitting archetypal character who balances Shannon's aura.

Chris Evans as the unconventional hit-man Mr. Freezy with his French beard and unkempt weird wig, slicing corpses is funny yet repulsive. Winona Ryder as Kuklinski's oblivious wife Deborah is pleasantly pretentious and believable as the la-di-da cared by a loving husband.

Steffen Dorff is powerfully moving in a cameo role as Kuklinski's equally blood- thirsty younger brother.

Though the film is well-crafted and captures its period setting to precision, with the sepia tone, clothing, hair-cuts and heeled shoes, the biopic lacks the zing of a gangster-thriller film. The 100-odd killings are dismissed off through a set of generic mafia dialogues and stereotypical violent shootouts, which one has witnessed many times earlier.

The cinematography, editing and the graph of the script also does not rise to a momentum to make a mark, but instead snuggly fits into a Scorsese-clone-ish mould.

But what stands out and touches a chord is when Mr. Kuklinski says: "I never felt sorry for anything that I've done except for hurting my family. I do want my family to forgive me."

This makes you realise that the ice-man indeed had a heart.

This indeed tugs at your heart-strings somewhere and coupled with the brilliant performances makes the film worth watching.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • Mayweather versus Pacquiao packs a pricey pay-per-view punch
    Mayweather versus Pacquiao packs a pricey pay-per-view punch

    By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Guadalupe Jaimes, a Chicago roofing supply salesman, calls the $100 (6,332 rupees) pay-per-view price tag for a high-definition broadcast of Saturday's boxing mega-match "ridiculous." It's a price that he and millions more will pay to watch an undefeated Floyd Mayweather take on Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday in one of the year's biggest sporting events. Mayweather's defeat of Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 has the buy record of 2.48 million …

  • Salma Hayek pays tribute to Lebanese roots with film of 'The Prophet'
    Salma Hayek pays tribute to Lebanese roots with film of 'The Prophet'

    By Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Mexican actress Salma Hayek says her new film "The Prophet" was a labour of love that helped her explore her relationship with her late Lebanese grandfather, who adored the book that inspired it. The animated film, which draws on the 1923 book by Lebanese-born writer Kahlil Gibran, tells the story of Almitra, a headstrong girl who forms a friendship with imprisoned poet Mustafa. …

  • Two Elvis jets to grace Presley's Memphis home permanently
    Two Elvis jets to grace Presley's Memphis home permanently

    Two jets that once belonged to Elvis Presley, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, will have a permanent home at the singer's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland said. The continued presence of the airplanes, a tour staple since 1984, had been in doubt since a partnership that owned them said last July their agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises was expiring this month and they could be removed. Graceland said in a statement on Sunday it was "pleased an agreement has been …

  • Chris Evans is big fan of romance

    Mumbai, April 28 (IANS) Actor Chris Evans, who would be seen Justin Reardon's upcoming romantic comedy "Playing It Cool" with Michelle Monaghan, says that he is a big fan of romance. "I've always been a big fan of romance and I think this story kind of captures the idea of meeting somebody in an unexpected night, unfolding in a really pure manner. We have two characters that are damaged and each one of them was in need of an understanding of what love actually meant," Evans said in a …

  • Architect Gehry to design opera set for Berlin's Staatsoper
    Architect Gehry to design opera set for Berlin's Staatsoper

    The American architect Frank Gehry will be the stage designer of a new production of the Christoph Gluck opera "Orfeo ed Euridice" for Berlin's Staatsoper, the company announced on Monday in unveiling its 2015-2016 season. Daniel Barenboim, the Staatsoper's music director, and Juergen Flimm, its general manager, also announced a new production of Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg" will be the season opener on Oct 3, with Barenboim conducting his 20th Wagner production for the …

  • Designer Westwood carries mutilated "baby" in anti-fracking campaign
    Designer Westwood carries mutilated "baby" in anti-fracking campaign

    British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood took to the streets of London on Monday cradling a "fracked baby of the future" in her latest show of opposition to hydraulic fracturing. The 74-year-old, known for her environmental campaigning as well as her bold designs, held a doll covered in bloodstains and with a missing hand, which campaign group Talk Fracking called a "limbless, radiation-scabbed 'Fracked Baby of the Future'". …

  • Russia's Bolshoi corrects oversight, mounts Mozart "Figaro"
    Russia's Bolshoi corrects oversight, mounts Mozart "Figaro"

    By Olga Petrova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Bolshoi theatre has a chequered history with Mozart's ever-popular 1786 opera "Le Nozze di Figaro" (The Marriage of Figaro), having not presented any version of it until 1926. Now the company presents a new staging by director Evgeny Pisarev that is intended to accent the opera's lyricism with a cast of mostly young singers, conducted by British maestro William Lacey. "I am not going to present any radical concepts about how everyone misunderstood …

  • Singer Amy Winehouse's father says new biopic misleading
    Singer Amy Winehouse's father says new biopic misleading

    By Rollo Ross and Marie-Louise Gumuchian LONDON (Reuters) - A new film about the late British singer Amy Winehouse is misleading, her father said on Monday, and the family of the six-time Grammy Award winner was disassociating itself from the production. Mitch Winehouse said he was not happy with the way the makers of "AMY", which will screened at the Cannes Film Festival next month, had portrayed him. The film was directed by Asif Kapadia, who won a BAFTA for his documentary "Senna" on the …

Loading...