In 1980, Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) makes his way to Miami, Florida with his best friend Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer). Together they take on the drug cartel, with Tony rising to the top of the empire, controlling nearly all the cocaine that comes through Miami. But as Tony’s power grows, so do his ego and paranoia, which both lead to his eventual downfall.
Say hello to my little friend!
It’s a weird coincidence that I watched this particular movie this month for the Blind Spot series considering what happened in Cuba just a few days ago. But anyway, Scarface is one of those movie remakes that’s able to set itself apart from its predecessor and stand on its own, mostly thanks to its 80s setting in the Miami drug world as opposed to the 1932 film’s Al Capone-inspired bootlegging tale. With all that said, though, I do have to say watching Brian De Palma’s Scarface just made me want to watch the original version. Clocking in at nearly three hours, this modern version of the rise and fall of a man chasing the American dream is too self-indulgent and excessive for my liking. It’s one of those beloved classics that I likely watched too late to appreciate it as much as many others do.
While I didn’t fully enjoy Scarface as much as I would’ve liked to, there are still plenty of redeeming qualities that do make it a movie worth checking out at least once. For one thing, it features what’s essentially Michelle Pfeiffer’s breakout role, and she’s great in all her scenes. Steven Bauer is also exceptional as Tony’s confidant Manny, balancing out Al Pacino’s over-the-top performance. I’m glad I can finally check this movie off my ever-growing watchlist, as there’s a good handful of moments in Scarface that continue to be referenced in pop culture (seeing the movie’s most famous quote in context was particularly great). It’s also a movie that’s still quite relevant in today’s social climate, serving as a cautionary tale on what having too much power can do to one person and how it impacts other people.
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer
Oscar Nominations: N/A
Check out what other bloggers have discovered this month for the Blind Spots series here!