Film Review: Bringing Out The Dead

Ask people to list the movies directed by Martin Scorsese and I doubt that anyone but the hardest of Scorsese fans will be able to name Bringing Out The Dead, or even tell you anything about it if you asked them.

A seriously dark and twisted tale of a New York ambulance paramedic, overworked and haunted by visions of his failures, who is fighting to keep a tenuous grip on his clarity, it is a film on paper that should be bigger and better known that is it.

With Scorsese directing and an impressive cast list, I am ashamed to say it’s taken me so long to watch. And I only got around to it due to a article in the free Vue Cinema magazine looking at the work of Scorsese, or I like many, many others, would still be blind to this piece of cinematic work.

Going into this film having only read a brief review and watched the trailer, I have a basic idea of the surface plot. And that is the perfect way to go into it. I think it you look too deeply into it before you watch it you’ll actually detract from the film.

Coming to it with a virtually blank piece of paper and wide eyes allows Bringing Out The Dead to really draw you in. Honestly, this film, grabs you, and does not let go. On occasions is hard I found that it’s hard to accept that things could actually happen or play out in the way they are portrayed. They are just too far removed from reality to sink in and register as acceptable.

But that honestly doesn’t matter. You just go with it. It may never happen. It may never play out like that, but right there, right then as you watch, that’s how life works, that is exactly what would happen. Scorsese direction pulls you in and you view this film as though you are walking the streets, as if you are there. Honestly, I don’t know whether to describe just how much this film draws you in and makes you believe as being brilliant or just plain scary.

What nobody can ever argue though is just how stunning Nicolas Cage’s performance is. For an A-Lister as big as Cage, and with an unfair, in my view, reputation for missing the mark as a leading actor, his portrayal of a man losing his grip on reality and the depths to which he is succumbing as a result is breathtaking. Really, quite how this film has passed by so quietly, with a performance this impressive is not only the biggest disappointment, but the biggest surprise.

Normally, I’m not the biggest fan of dark thrillers, if I was to list the movies I could watch over and over again, the movies I go to regularly when I just need to sit on the sofa and pass time, dark thrillers wouldn’t make up many places or feature very highly. But Bringing Out The Dead has certainly forced its way onto that lists.

I’m just sad it’s taken me so long to get around to seeing it. I urged you to see it. Really, it is that good.

8 out of 10 stars (8 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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