(Frank Miller’s) Sin City * Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez (2005)

Sin CityWhen I heard about this film I immediately wanted to see it. It was out of the cinemas before I knew it and we are still waiting for the DVD release. Good that a friend has an import!
I suppose you heard all about the film, if you haven’t seen it yet. One thing is certain, I had high expectations of the film, but it is even better than I hoped! The film is an adaptation of Frank Miller’s own comic. I didn’t know about this, but this man made more films out of comics. Also I don’t know the comic, but that isn’t needed to enjoy this film. Quentin Tarantino is guest director by the way.
I thought that “Sin City” was a film with comic-elements, such as in “The Hulk” (which I haven’t seen), but this isn’t really the case. The film is actually shot the way one would make a comic and this really shows. This makes it obvious that a film and a comic are made from completely different viewpoints (both literally and as a manner of speaking). A comic has a ‘hero’ with his face right in the camera talking, a very simple shot of a driving car, shots in which a lot of perspective is put, surreal stages and characters with very distictive features such as a grim man with a square face or a woman with a superb body and a very outspoken haircut. It is really nice to see this made into a film.
Sin City is a dark city where corruption is the rule. The film consists of three storylines that here and there cross eachother. They go over in eachother abruptly which made me rather confused about whether or not the characters are the same or if the stories have something to do with eachother. In the first story “Hartigan” (Bruce Willis) is the only clean cop left in town. He wants to save an 11-year old girl from the hands of a cannibalistic maniac, but runs right into a massive corruption scandal and lands in jail. Then almost unnoticed we go to the story of the grim and hard-to-kill walking tank “Marv” (Mickey Rourke) who falls in love with a woman who gets killed while he was laying in bed with her, so he has to hunt supernatural enemies and eventually the most powerfull man of Sin City in order to get revenge; this is definately the most ‘comical’ part of the film with flying persons and weird characters. Then we have the story of ‘the old town’ where the police left the maintaining of the order to the beautiful prostitutes-warriors of the old town; a man named Dwight ends up in old town and a cop gets killed, which is a serious problem so he has to get rid off the bodies; this results very surreal scenes and stories. All the sudden we are back with Hartigan, is he the other characters? Did he dream the other two stories while in the hospital? Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn’t really matter.
Shot is moody black and with with great ‘comical’ high contrasts here and there. Only four colours are filled in: red, green, blue and yellow adding to the atmosphere. “Sin City” truely is a great visual experience with uncommon stories, viewpoints, special effects, etc. Nicely dark, sometimes pretty grim and bloody/extreme with a descent sense of humour. The total atmosphere and (as far as I know) sheer originality of the film really makes it by far the best film that I have seen in recent times!

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