Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Last Night of the Panthers
It draws a direct line through the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Balkan wars of the 1990s to the rise (and fall) of The Pink Panthers - the ring of diamond thieves who pulled off ballsy, brash robberies for years across Europe. Portrayed here as mostly dispossessed soldiers and mercenaries plying the skills they acquired and networks they developed during the civil strife in their new role as international gangsters with a nationalistic stripe, they are more terrifying than the typical hyper-capitalists of western popular lore - imagine bushwhacking remnants from the US Civil War (maybe The Outlaw Josey Wales, the James-Youngers and the fucking KKK rolled into a loose association) organized and ruthless enough to begin seizing political power on a state level.
But y'know... racism.
A Richard Price joint is going to mean two important things
2) Action/dialogue. The cast here is uniformly strong and a pleasure to watch them say and do the things they do and say. We have Price to thank for that. Dude knows how to punch up an unexpected emotional response to the least likely gestures and routines.
That's by design. But that's not even the point. The point, and it's a good and worthwhile one, is that this is life on the job - as a cop, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, a cabbie, a convict, a streetwalker - at our moment in space/time and this here is a slice of that life for your tasting pleasure (or displeasure) and if you don't relate to somebody somewhere here your empathy gauge is broke.