Al Pacino and Al Pacino

Carlito's way and Serpico  are considered to be two of Al Pacino's finest. Watched them both within a space of a week. Lots of similarities - both movies open with the Al Pacino character getting shot. (Kollywood would call this sentimendu) The female protagonist doesn't approve of the main man in both movies. These story line influences are similar along with the fact that Al Pacino is struggling against being typecast in his natural surroundings in both movies. The main difference is that he is part of the underworld in Carlito's way and is a cop in Serpico.

Carlito's way

Carleeetho as he is called by his cronies is a criminal on the reform... only that no one wants him to reform. I detected a thread of similarity with Ram Gopal Varma's Satya. It is a bit far fetched and the Satya character isn't really trying to reform. Carlito is just out of prison thanks to his lawyer (Sean Penn is revolting and brilliant at that) and goes about building a plan to escape from his old life. Everyone, his lawyer included, do their best to not let that happen. I was wondering if the Bheekhu Matre character and the Urmila Matondkar characters in Satya can draw parallels with characters in Carlito's way.


A story about a honest cop and his travails with the corrupt policemen. What is the price of honesty in a corrupt society? Loneliness apparently...  One of the characters recites a poignant fable about a wise king. A king rules a far away land. A witch places a well in the middle of the kingdom. Everyone drinks from it and becomes mad. The king avoids the well and remains the only sane person in the kingdom. The people plan a revolt as they feel that the king is not one among them. The king drinks the water and becomes insane as well. The people rejoice that their ruler has been 'cured'. Serpico prefers to be insane rather than dishonest.


Legend has it that Al Pacino stayed with the real Serpico while preparing for the movie.

When Pacino asked Serpico, "Why did you do it?" Serpico replied, "Well, Al, I don't know. I guess I would have to say it would be because... if I didn't, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?"

What a lovely thought! Isn't it true that we are honest with ourselves when we listen to our favorite music?

1 comment:

  1. Pacino has been a favourite....will try and watch these two soon.Thanx for the info bro.