what a movie. it’s a crime drama, for sure, but it’s more of a character study than it is a typical crime drama. every single one of the main characters is multi-faceted. i love movies that show the shades of gray. i think that everyone watching the film wanted there to be some way for both pacino and deniro to win in the end, but that’s impossible since they’re in opposition. as characters, though, they are much closer to each other and that is completely realized in their meeting at the diner. i do wish that mann had covered that scene differently. i understand that he didn’t want to miss anything and so he chose over the shoulder coverage which is pretty typical when two people are facing each other. but i just can’t help but think that, given the fact that two of the greatest actors are in the same room together, there should have been more of an effort to capitalize on the energy they bring. i would have liked to see more of an attempt to capitalize on that by letting them run free and capturing whatever transpired using a steadycam or a handheld. to me that would have fit and it could have had an even better impact. other than that and a few bad music choices, i thought the film was fucking great. other things to note include the beginning which takes place on train tracks and the end which takes place on a runway. movement? transition?…i don’t know. the last thing i want to explore is the way in which deniro is killed, or, rather, what it is that gets him killed. a light comes on and projects his shadow to pacino’s feet, thus giving him away. it may be a reference to jung’s idea of the “shadow”…the physical representation of the darkness within deniro’s character becomes his ultimate undoing, and that which separates him from pacino. perhaps. we know that the characters are clear foils for each other. but they aren’t alpha and omega. they may appear as such at the beginning…pacino with his wife, deniro pulling a heist. but as the film unfolds pacino’s relationship dissolves and his obsession with his work takes a clear toll. meanwhile deniro develops a relationship with a woman which ends up being the driving force for him to go on “one last score.” in the last minutes pacino leaves his wife in the emergency room and deniro is forced to leave his woman in the car wondering where he is going. pacino, at first, has the tactical advantage – acquiring a shotgun for the battle to come. but eventually it is just the two of them on the runway with pistols, as equals. and if all that is too much for you, this film features one of the best shoot-out scenes of the last 20 years.