Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967)
This cult classic staring Lee Marvin as Walker a man seeking for revenge against the organization that owes him money and that has a scheme that Walker will try to erase.
The film is the produce of Marvin and director John Boorman agreeing on the poor quality of the script but a mutual love for the character of Walker. Backed by Marvin Boorman was able to have final cut on his first movie in Hollywood. A treatment that few directors were able to attain.
It is one of the great thrillers that mixes memory lapses from its hero and demonstrate how he can struggle to try to get back his humanity from being mixed with criminal organizations and how he lost all that value to him while doing illegal businesses. Trying to regain a little piece of humanity has no price for Walker and even if Mal (John Vernon) was his friend and Lynne (Sharon Acker) his wife betray him, Walker has a mission and he has trouble dealing with some sort of sensibility. This is like a redemption road for Walker to eliminate the obstacles on his route.
Boorman’s aesthetic is particular and tend to mix the classic noir with some experimental time frame while experimenting with some nouvelle vague elements. Having final cut of his film gave Boorman the freedom to do whatever he wanted with his editing and the surprising opening of Point Blank that unbalances the viewer to a certain point, might be the most unsettling movie opening of its time. However, it helps the audience trying to figure what is happening and puts us into the mystery state that Walker seems to live chronically. Not everything is explained and this is one of the reasons why this movie works so well. This makes it one of the perfect examples of the work a new voice in filmmaking bringing something else to the whole business like Boorman’s directing in Point Blank even if he had a typical noir thriller in hands he was able to give it a nice twist and fresh vision.
As a film enthusiast I love when a director gives me credit for having a brain and let some elements away from the light and he doesn’t need to mash everything and digest it for me. I expect no less of a solid film when a director has final cut. In this case Lee Marvin was backing his director and we have a very interesting collaboration that will never be equalled by their other films together. Point Blank is a cult classic of the 1960’s that was like Bonnie and Clyde, of the same year, announcing great things for the American Cinema to come.