'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.

Most Viewed

  • Saif-Kareena Kapoor Khan And Soha-Kunal Khemu’s Wild Holiday
    Saif-Kareena Kapoor Khan And Soha-Kunal Khemu’s Wild Holiday

    Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan with hubby Saif Ali Khan spend their quality time with newly wed couple Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu. The couples are in Nagarhole, spending their weekend staying over at Saad Bin Jung’s resort, The Bison. In the picture, Kareena, Saif, and Soha Ali Khan are chilling out in open cottage, assuming Kunal Khemu clicking their picture, as he is missing. Kunal Khemu tweeted, On the early morning safari at Nagarhole wildlife reserve through the mist we spotted this …

  • Ranbir Kapoor goes gown on his knees to propose to Deepika Padukone
    Ranbir Kapoor goes gown on his knees to propose to Deepika Padukone

    All the eyes are on Ranbir Kapoor and his ex beau Deepika Padukone who have been shooting together for their upcoming film Tamasha. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were shooting for a romantic scene, where Ranbir had to go down on knees and propose Deepika Padukone. You can see in the pictures, Ranbir Kapoor goes down on Knees, while Deepika Padukone gets surprised on it. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and is directed by Imtiaz Ali. …

  • Check Out: Alia Bhatt’s Transformed Vanity Van
    Check Out: Alia Bhatt’s Transformed Vanity Van

    Bollywood’s cutest actress Alia Bhatt is too excited and happy for her new personalized Vanity Van. The actress has recently got a new makeover for her vanity van. Alia Bhatt who calls her vanity van as a second home tweeted with a picture, “My second home, my vanity van !!! Thank you amritamahalnakai for transforming my van !! I love you to… Student Of The Year actress got her old vanity van customized into new according to her taste by Amrita Mahalnakai. As you can see in the picture just …

  • Sussanne Khan Spent Rs 16 Crore On A Penthouse In Pune?
    Sussanne Khan Spent Rs 16 Crore On A Penthouse In Pune?

    Hrithik Roshan‘s ex-wife Sussanne Khan has bought an expensive property for herself outside Mumbai city. According to recent reports, Sussanne Khan bought a beautiful penthouse in Pune for about 16 crore! The penthouse is located in Trump Towers, Kalyani Nagar and the celebrity interior decorator has bought the property only for investment purpose. A source was quoted saying, “Yes, she has purchased a penthouse in Pune. It is located in Trump Towers, Kalyani Nagar. …

  • Beef Ban Takes Bollywood By Storm!
    Beef Ban Takes Bollywood By Storm!

    Bollywood celebrities are now coming forward and voicing their opinion on different matters. First it was the controversial AIB Roast, and now it’s the ‘Beef Ban’ that took the Internet by storm. To exercise their right to freedom of speech, our Bollywood celebrities took to their Twitter accounts and posted their views on the recent ‘beef ban’ sanctioned by Maharashtra government. Mumbai being the hub of most of Bollywood celebrities who opt to dine as they wish this news came as a shocker. …

  • Manoj Bajpayee turns gay professor; sports unkempt look for ALIGARH
    Manoj Bajpayee turns gay professor; sports unkempt look for ALIGARH

    The first look of Manoj Bajpayee's character in National Award-winning filmmaker Hansal …

  • 'Yeh Rishta Kya...' 10-year leap delayed

    Mumbai, March 4 (IANS) An impending 10-year leap in the story of TV show "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai" has been delayed as the show's producers are yet to find a fresh face for the character Naksh. According to a source, the show had to postpone the planned 10-year leap to make time to zero in on apt casting for Naksh, the 20-year-old son of Naitik (Karan Mehra) and Akshara (Hina Khan). …

  • Yummy Mummy Aishwarya Rai Bachchan redefines hotness!
    Yummy Mummy Aishwarya Rai Bachchan redefines hotness!

    Aishwarya Rai Bachchan doesn't cease to amaze us with her beauty and with her recent photo shoot …

Loading...