Something Wild

1986

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Melanie Griffith as n Audrey Hankelnn
Ray Liotta as n Ray Sinclairnn
Jeff Daniels as n Charles Driggsnn
Margaret Colin as n Irenenn
720p 1080p
972.33 MB
n 1280*714 n
n English n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 54 min n
P/S 0 / 0
1.82 GB
n 1920*1072 n
n English n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 54 min n
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

**** (Out of four)

Jeff Daniels has been the type of actor whose films are always shown on "The Late Late Movie". His career has been built as playing the normal guy in increasingly odder movies. He's taken on the B-movie genre ("Arachnophobia"), trippy cult sci-fi ("Disaster in Time"), nostalgia-fueled Woody Allen comedies ("The Purple Rose of Cairo"), and even the occasional abominable romance ("Love Stinks", "The Butcher's Wife"). And then there's "Something Wild", a film which defies any possible classification. It's a love story, a road movie, a thriller, a comedy of errors, an 80's movie and most of all, it's a Jonathan Demme movie.Made in 1986, the film has a logical kind of pre-thinking which is both subtle and amazing. Daniels plays Charlie Driggs, an uptight New York City businessman whose life goes into overdrive when he meets "Lulu" (Melanie Griffith), a wacky free spirit with a pair of handcuffs, a bottle of Scotch and a sexuality which seems to be inspired not by the Madonna-esque charades of the time but on past screen legends as Louise Brooks and Mae West. After meeting in a corner restaurant where it seems all of the customers have their own interesting stories to tell, Demme and screenwriter E. Max Frye focus on these two people and the various destinies their meeting awaits, the least of which involves Lulu's ex-husband (Ray Liotta), fresh out of prison and demanding an explanation for Lulu's fading love for him.Of course I'm making this film seem like another one of those standard Hollywood claptraps. Yet it's not. Together with regular cinematographer Tak Fujimoto, Demme plunges us into a world which seems at first like a homespun portrait of Americana, complete with minor characters who seem to have life beyond the screen (the Motel Philosopher; John Waters' crooked car salesman; Charlie's protege and his very pregnant, very introverted wife; Lulu's unexpectedly wise mother). Later, however, the film uses its keen sense of characterization to subtly show the effects of the various kindnesses of strangers (the gas-station attendant, the little girl outside the church, a naive teen named Tracy). All of this is done in a style that is both unique and mesmerizing, as Demme keeps shifting the gears of his story so the audience doesn't know what will happen next.And then there's the Liotta character. This is one of the great supporting performances of contemporary cinema, as Liotta's presence lets another dimension of atmosphere pervade its way through this already quirky film,lifting it beyond the ranks into greatness. Displaying a level of intelligence which is both dangerous and striking, Liotta conjures up a performance which he would later reprise in Jonathan Kaplan's inferior "Unlawful Entry", a film which, unfortunately, did considerably better at the box office than this one. Nevertheless, Liotta proves exactly what Scorsese saw in him when he was casting "Goodfellas": his smarmy underhandedness and sneaky intrusions would prove similar to those he would display playing Henry Hill in that Mafia masterpiece.Another one of "Something Wild"'s many strengths is its soundtrack. The film contains many of what I have described as "30-second rock interludes", but in this case, it's done with so much style and cinematic know-how that it does not take away from the story. Instead, Demme uses the stereotype that many of his MTV-obsessed colleagues employed and turns it on its head. Instead of using music for music's sake, Demme uses an eclectic mix of reggae (Sister Carol, Jimmy Cliff, UB40), oldies (many performed by the Feelies during the reunion sequence), and Laurie Anderson and John Cale's solo guitar riff and blends the sound to the images so it looks as if the film is being told by a pseudo-Greek chorus of African-American subculture which stands apart from this story of libidos and materialism run awry.This film is shown on Comedy Central many, many times. However, it has been severely edited due to commercial restraints and is also shown during the wrong time of day. This is a midnight movie, a film which is meant to be discovered while flipping the dials on your television set during restless bouts of insomnia. Like "Blade Runner" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", this cult movie feeds upon a nocturnal atmosphere and is as a result all the more effective. I haven't even mentioned Griffith's performance, which is her best, even better than "Working Girl". Her squeaky voice and demeanor hints at oceans of emotion behind this problematic woman, and you find yourself caring for this mismatched couple even as Liotta terrorizes the screen. "Friends?" Liotta asks Daniels, manipulating his thoughts so easily that Daniels hardly knows what to say or what to do. The audience sits spellbound, experiencing the same degree of uncertainty over this eccentrically exquisite movie.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Something special

Jeff Daniels has never been better, Ray Liotta is wonderfully sexy and menacing, and even Melanie Griffith (whom I normally dislike) works well here. One of my favorite Demme movies, this one features all kinds of interesting little character bits (a Demme trademark), and a remarkable little detail that I only noticed upon my 3rd or 4th viewing: at the high school reunion, after Charlie and Audrey finish their sweet, goofy little dance, the lights flicker and black out for a moment, signaling the end of the first, lighter half of the film. Ray Liotta appears on screen seconds later, bringing with him the all the violence and danger of the second half. A very simple but elegant touch. Check this one out, it's a really good movie. Great soundtrack too! 8/10.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

an above-average rom-com script crossbred with juicy pulp fiction, great stuff

Why can't more romantic comedies be like this? This question came to me while watching Something Wild, a little sleeper from the mid 80s from Jonathan Demme about a seemingly typical 80s NY businessman, Charlie (Jeff Daniels) who gets whisked away by a 'free-spirit' "Lulu" (Melanie Griffith). Well, probably because most people who watch the very typical romantic comedies probably don't watch it for the same reasons that those who love Something Wild do. There's maybe something to keep going through the dirge of crap that are among the films of decades and decades of romantic comedies, but it's finding one of the nuggets that counts (Love Actually, from 2003, is another one for example). And, perhaps, there might be a darker sensibility, or more thought put into it, in enjoying Something Wild.It's a lot like Id-gone-Wild, in a sense. In the world of Something Wild, we're brought along with characters on a situation that would seem surreal on a Bunuel level (i.e. bourgeois brought along into the realm of sin and desire by some free-will temptress of the 'lower depths'), but there's a reality to it, a kind of down-to-earth level about the characters- and, more importantly for this, the actors playing them- and it elevates it past being either too strange or just too quirky. It's just about right, which is tough to dol you feel like cringing as Lulu calls up Charlie's boss while teasing him incredibly in the midst of kinky sex, but it's also so funny in how it all comes together that you just don't care, at least, enough, that it's anarchic.So while it's enjoyable, at least on first sight, as a sort of freewheeling existentialist romp, like a French sex comedy clipped over on the 80s 'greed-is-good' motto, it has dark undertones that soon get darker and darker, thanks to Ray Liotta's Ray, who is Lulu/Audrey's real husband. At this point we feel like we're suddenly plopped into a pulp fiction piece, with the ex-con bad-ass going to town against the would-be rebel and his girl gone awry. But at the same time, for what Demme and his wonderful screenwriter have, it all works. What helps exponentially (if that's the word) is that Demme doesn't stray either into anything not honest within the boundaries of this situation. It might seem like a risk people wouldn't take in real life, or that the violence is pumped up to, again, pulp fiction territory, but in the logic of the piece- of the tricky deceit and the push-and-pull of the triangle of Charlie/Audrey/Ray- it's just awesomely achieved.Again, the performances are a big asset to the film's suceess. Daniels matches very well that line between playing it innocent and the straight-shooter, the guy we're supposed to identify with as stuck middle-class citizens with families and green lawns, and as a rebel who just has to let some free will into his system now and again. Griffith is in one of her very best, not acting too precocious or annoying, and conveying in the little bits of 'regular' Audrey (i.e. the scene at her mother's) that there's more than meets the eye. And Liotta is so great that it's probably no wonder that he (maybe unfortunately) got typecast as a psycho. There's actually complexity that Liotta gets to, and in a way doesn't make Ray totally unlikeable; he is the villain, of course, but there's a charm that is like the ID unraveled completely as a guy who shoots guns, robs stores, and hits on girls whenever he can. All three make up such a terrific combo here.It's crazy, it's awkward, it's a rip-roaring time, and it's even got heart too. For those who are tired of spoon-fed tripe by the studios, it's an excellent escape into one of the most unconventional (but most pleasantly genre-tastic) of the past 25 years

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

A real gem from the 1980s.

Sometimes you have to search high and low, but you really can find some interesting films made in the late 1980s. Though Jonathan Demme's film is not perfect, it still brilliantly outshines most of the crud made back then. Something Wild is the study of two souls who seem to come from different worlds going on a crazy road trip full of sex, violence, and even a high school reunion.It all begins inside a tiny diner in New York City when openly free-spirited Audrey (Melanie Griffith) notices yuppie Charlie (Jeff Daniels) sneak out on paying his bill. She confronts him outside, and the two of them end up jumping in her car and taking off on a sunny Friday afternoon. At first it would seem that this trip across the state line will merely end in a sexual tryst in a cheap motel, but little does Charlie know, Audrey has all sorts of plans for him that weekend. After some serious hanky-panky, Audrey takes Charlie back to her home town, introduces him to her mother as her husband, and then takes him to her high school reunion. In a development a little bit contrived for this critic's liking, one of Charlie's co-workers also happens to be attending this reunion. This could potentially destroy the facade of the family man on a wild weekend that Charlie is trying to perpetrate. (at this point we learn his wife left him quite a while ago) Further complicating matters is the arrival of Audrey's psychotic ex-husband, played with fearsome intensity by Ray Liotta. From that point on, this film which has largely gone for laughs, becomes rather intense and often violent.This film scores major points by absolutely keeping the audience guessing. At least until the third act when the film can likely conclude in no other way than it does. The film avoids making Charlie out to be a totally predictable sap who is just along for a wild ride with a crazy woman. Charlie has his own secrets, and a whole hidden side of his own that comes out when it has to. Demme places some marginally famous people in some truly odd cameos, and spends a little bit more time with peripheral characters than some people would. It gives the film a very "human" kind of feeling as we get to know at least a little something about even someone working as a waitress or at a motel. The film maybe meanders a bit here and there, but that is understandable since so much of it plays out like a road trip. The actors are exceptional, and the film is full of color and energy. Highly recommended. 9 of 10 stars.The Hound.

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