Say hello to my little friend. That’s Tony Montana to you and me. ‘A political prisoner’ as he likes to put it from Cuba, who turned his life from being a zero to not quite the hero in his new found glory.
” okay here’s the story. I come from the gutter, I know that. I got no education but that’s okay. I know the streets and I’m making all the right connections”.
Excuse the language you are about to witness as it’s what this movie is made up with as I dive into this profanity of a review.
It starts off in a federal investigation room where immigration officers ask Tony a series of question which he tries to bluff his way through saying ” my dad was a Yankee. He take me to the movies. I watch guys like Humphrey Bogart. They teach me to talk. I like those guys. Of course he knows never to tell a good lie as a foreigner when they’ve ‘heard enough of the same shit’.
A month of being stuck in a refugee camp with his friends, luck seems to favour them as their one way ticket out of the country will be granted in exchange for killing a government official ordered by a wealthy man named Frank Lopez. A hard offer to consider but ” I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card I’m gonna carve him up real nice”.
Soon after Tony and his friends land in America where they are in awe of bikini babes, who are apparently a lesbian if they reject you and the city spenders in their nice suit and tie. A town ‘waiting to get fucked’.
From dishwashing to being Franks helper, they are assigned to show what their made of in retrieving cocaine in exchange for money from a Columbian dealer which backfires, leaving one of them being dismembered by a chainsaw, as a chained up Tony is forced to watch the blood splatter across his face, waiting to be next but is saved just in time by his friends who were waiting as back up.
They personally deliever the goods to Franks mansion and tell him how he had to sacrifice the life of a good friend, a brother to him which Frank takes into consideration for his trust and where he meets his lady, Elvira Hancock (Michelle Pfeiffer) ,who likes to powder her beautiful face in cocaine and falls for her. Bad move Tony. It is also the setting stone for him becoming Franks henchman, learning to ‘never get high on your own supply’ and gets involved in doing his ‘dirty work’.
Tony is used to rejection, but he works hard to get what he wants – the world and everything in it. We get a little understanding of the fact he had no father figure to follow so he learns the ropes within his own logical thinking and knows that ” in this country you gotta make the money first, then when you get the money you get the power”.
Tony does have a soft side to him treating Elvira at first with a charm a cuban knows best and visits his mother and sister saying” your son made it”, but his moral judgements over time consume him with power and greed that he sees fit for others having, that his efforts are made in vain, making it hard to find the right reasons to like him.
I can surely admire his determination to reach to the top of the ‘mob’ chain and he certainly does well to make his millions in one piece with a beautiful woman by his side, but it comes at a cost as his ‘American dream’ comes fully loaded with a vengeance when he makes more enemies than he had friends and his heart becomes cruel, intoxicated with spite.
The movie is far from another so -called gangster movie filled with the drugs sex and rock and roll. It chooses to focus on the character of Tony and how he becomes involved in such a chaotic system of capitalism. The script follows a smart and witty dialogue which is the perfect partner to some drugs and guns blazing.
When you show an already flawed man to power, there are sure to be fireworks as it ignites and turns too dangerous. A man who knows the right moves but not the right way as his weakness is counting on just himself and his balls to make him his fortune. A man who is bold with his words and even bolder with his weapon because I’m Tony Montana. You wanna fuck with me, your fuckin’ with the best”!
Credits: Directed by Brian De Palma.
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia and others.
Music by: Giorgio Moroder
Other honourable mentions from 1983 that I love: