Something Wild

1986

Comedy / Crime / Romance / Thriller

4
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 68%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 13974

Synopsis


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March 14, 2018 at 02:03 AM

Director

Cast

Melanie Griffith as Audrey Hankel
Ray Liotta as Ray Sinclair
Jeff Daniels as Charles Driggs
Margaret Colin as Irene
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
972.33 MB
1280*714
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 0 / 5
1.82 GB
1920*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 1 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by halnexus 10 / 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 KMR 8 / 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 cool little detail that I only noticed upon my 3rd or 4th viewing: at the high school reunion, after Charlie and Audrey finish their sweet 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 TOMASBBloodhound 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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