The filmed adaptation from the David Benioff's novel of the same name. Set in New York, a convicted drug dealer named Monty has one day left of freedom before he is sent to prison. Anger, blame, frustration, betrayal, guilt and loneliness are themes on this last day of friends, family, parties, saying goodbye, and setting things straight. A Spike Lee joint.
|Release Date||:||December 16, 2002|
|Production Company||:||40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Touchstone Pictures|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Spike Lee, Shari L. Carpenter|
|Writers||:||David Benioff, David Benioff|
|Casts||:||Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Tony Siragusa, Levan Uchaneishvili, Misha Kuznetsov, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Michael Genet, Patrice O'Neal, Al Palagonia, Aaron Stanford, Dania Ramirez, Larissa Drekonja, Michole Briana White|
|Plot Keywords||:||prison, prisoner, dream, drug dealer, nightclub, american dream, male friendship, melancholy, girlfriend, friendship, aftercreditsstinger|
I read the novel 'The 25th Hour' before I even knew it was going to be adapted into a movie and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was one of the best books written in the last ten years. Being a huge fan of Spike Lee and Edward Norton, I was extremely excited when I found they were making it into a film.
However I will admit I was a bit skeptical to whether Spike Lee could pull the film off, but when I saw the trailer I had a new found faith in it and I'm sorry to of doubted him. I saw the film yesterday and was just amazed. It's nearly flawless and is almost exactly like the novel which was written by David Benioff (who also wrote the screenplay).
The characters in the film are great. You got Monty Brogan (Norton) who's looking at seven years for drug dealing charges. It's his last day of freedom and he's just trying to tie up any loose ends before he goes. Then you got his two friends, Frank Slaughtery (Barry Pepper) and Jakob Elinsky (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who each have to deal with the fact that their best friend is going away for seven years, but also have their own demons to deal with. You also have his girlfriend, Naturelle Rivera (Rosario Dawson) who must deal with it as well and must also deal with the fact that she's suspect on who could have sold Monty out to the DEA. And finally you have James Brogan (Brian Cox), Monty's father. He's a hard working guy who obviously wished that things didn't turn out the way they did. One last night for Monty to set things straight and also make decisions.
The film sticks almost exactly to the novel, but there are slight differences. Since the novel was written in 2000 and the movie was filmed during 2002, Spike Lee and David Benioff included the mentioning of the attacks on New York and the aftermath, which I applaud Lee for. He didn't cop out and try to ignore it like others. It was necessary to capture the emotion of what New Yorkers are facing and among that, what the characters have to face with Monty going to prison. There are also slight differences and cut outs from the book to make the film flow easier, but I was disappointed with only one thing that the film didn't include. In the novel, Monty constantly thinks of how he always wanted to be a fireman. While firemen references and his father was a fireman are all mentioned in the film, it didn't really tackle Monty's regret of never becoming a fireman, like it did in the book. But the film makes up for that one thing by being terrific all around.
There are some stellar performances here. Edward Norton is always great in everything he plays, but in this film he is just excellent. The 'F**k You' scene he has when he's staring in the mirror is just excellent and I hope he gets an Oscar nomination for this role (he was robbed from one for American History X). Barry Pepper is in his greatest performance yet as the tough guy stockbroker. Philip Seymour Hoffman was great as Jakob, the high school teacher. Dealing with his attraction to his student, Mary (Anna Paquin). Rosario Dawson really made me feel for her and it was great to see more of her in a film. Brian Cox doesn't have a huge role, but he's great as Monty's father. I would also like to give praise to Tony Siragusa for his performance as Kostya. He was dead on with the accent.
So without going on any further, I just have to say that '25th Hour' was really great and is now one of my favorite films of all time.
SCORE: 9 out of 10 (excellent)