Monday, November 2, 2009

Movie Monday: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

A movie about a perfect heist gone wrong is nothing new. The problem for this movie is that the heist involved the thiefs parents. The movies stars Phillip seymour hoffman as a man that operates on the illusion of control, something this actor does well. He plays Andy, the older brother to Ethan Hawke's Hank, the more incompetent in all ways, except for sleeping with Andy's wife, Marissa Tomei, brother. The movie begins with a passionate marital moment between Andy and his wife while on vacation in Brazil. The title is derived from an Irish prayer that says may you have 30 minutes in heaven before the devil knows you are dead. This alludes to the hell that is to follow in the movie.
The next scene begins the hell with Albert Finney, Hank and Andy's father, dropping off his wife at the family jewelry store. She is quickly confronted by a foul mouthed burglar when chaos ensues. As Andy awaits in the getaway car outside, the burglar smashes through the glass of the front door as he suffers from a gunshot from Andy's mother, who herself, is lying in a pool of her own blood.
Andy drives away in a panic cursing the name of his brother. The remainder of the movie retraces the events leading up to and following the robbery. What we see is that while all other characters are as they appear, Andy is unmasked as the most devious and foul of them all. He begins as this responsible executive that has a way of helping his brother out by hatching a plan to rob their parents. Andy's part is to fence the jewelry. As it unfolds, Andy has a bigger stake in the robbery. He has stolen money from his company and uses its petty cash as his heroine fund. As the movie unfolds, Andy throws caution to the wind and begins a kill crazy rampage to try to cover up all the lose ends. Just before he can kill his own brother, Andy is shot by a victim's sister, and hank runs away.
While Andy and Hank try to cover-up the crime that cost their mother her life, Albert Finney starts to put some of the pieces together and figures out that his oldest son planned the robbery. ****spoiler alert**** While Andy spends his day killing his loose ends, Finney is following his sons activity, with a gun packed for revenge. With his ailing son now in the hospital, Finney smother's his son to death with a pillow, sending Andy to his judgement.

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