Review: 'Capone' (2020) Dir. Josh Trank
Another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic which closed many cinema chains worldwide, 'Capone' went straight to VOD release in May 2020...
In the early 1940s, a recently released Al Capone (Hardy) resides in Palm Island, Florida, at his estate with wife Mae (Cardellini) and visits from his family.
Suffering from incurable neurosyphilis, Capone is slowly losing his health; motor functions and brain activity failing a once powerful, feared man.
Surrounded by those close to him, including friend Johnny (Dillon), Capone is haunted by his past as he prepares for his few remaining years ahead as his world slowly fades away around him...
This is a different sort of Al Capone story - one never seen before, and one potentially braver than others. Gone is the Robert De Niro untouchable mob-boss or the rising gangster Rod Steiger. Now we have Tom Hardy's mentally and physically ill Capone; a shadow of his former self.
Riddled with non treatable dementia that is crippling his body, including motor skills and memory, Hardy's Capone is haunted by visions and torments from his past life in power. All the while living inside his Palm Island estate, far too grand even for him as all of his once wealthy and extravagant possessions are reclaimed to pay off debts.
As the world he once knew crumbles around him, Al Capone is none the wiser as he battles his own illness and forgets his own family and hidden fortunes.
Hardy is faultless in his performance as the pasty, tubby mobster. Thinning hair combed back, eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep and skin leathery. But he still chomps a mean cigar and growls out Italian curses, a pride he never wants to let go off even in his final years. With support from Linda Cardellini as suffering wife Mae, Matt Dilllon as family friend Johnny and Kyle Machlahlan, the cast is certainly up to the task of working to care for Hardy's unpredictable and deteriorating family man.
While certainly not a film for everyone, director Trank sheds brave new light on an often untold and unseen side to old Scarface. Looking at the immediate effects of mental and physical illness in no less than grim honesty, this isn't a typical gangster film. It's even set within the confines of the Palm Island estate, acting more like a psychological horror than criminal biography; the only glimpse of the mob enforcer is through dreamy flashbacks and rain-soaked visions of blood-soaked violence and murder.
Slow in pace and lacking any real stand-out moments, this is a film that doesn't even try to deliver a quick narrative or provide a stand-out moment, so don't expect any and you will be ok.
It's a slow look at mental illness and watching a man we know so much about in his glory-days now reduced to a child-like state who can't even drink or use the toilet without incident, making for an interesting, often-jarring but well acted story.
'Capone' is a co-production between Addictive Pictures, Bron Studios, Lawrence Bender Productions, Redbox Entertainment and Endeavor Content