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“After Hours” (1985) – film review (english version)

Dritter Teil des Geburtstags-Special zu Martin Scorsese: Die Kritik zu “After Hours”, einem seiner vergessenen Meisterwerke.

Third part of the birthday-special for Martin Scorsese: a review of “After Hours”, one of his forgotten masterpieces.

In the early Eighties, Martin Scorsese started to experiment in his films: Following his huge success of “Raging Bull” in 1980, “King of Comedy” from 1983 was his first attempt in the Comedy-genre. “After Hours”, the follow-up, could be described as “dramatic comedy”. It was totally snubbed by audience when it was releasec in 1985, but has gained some kind of cult-following since then.

Griffing Dunne stars as the sowewhat bored computer programmer Paul who sits in a bar after his work day, reading a book, where he meets Marcy (Rosanna Arquette). She starts some small talk, tells him she also likes the book he is reading, and then gives him the number of her apartment. At home, Paul decides to call her, and she asks him if he wants to “come over”. As he has nothing better to do, and is in search for some “excitement”, he takes the subway to SoHo, the art district of Manhatten, where she lives. First he is welcomed by Kiki, a sculptor and the flatmate of Marcy, until the evening takes direction of a scurrile, bizarre and hilariously dramatic disaster, that ends with a corpse, bruises, scars, and angry mob – and in a sculpture.

Scorsese employs his dark, weird sense of humour in “After Hours”. The whole film is an absurd sort of “road movie” or “noir screwball comedy”, with an “average guy” main character who gets caught up in a disastrous serious of strange events that, somehow, all seem to be connected.

One can see why this film has not been a huge success at the Box Office: Most people still expect violent, machoist Gangster-films from the director, and “After Hours” is, definitely, something completely different. Nevertheless, it is very entertaining, well made, and full of good acting performances, especially by lead actor Griffin Dunne, a film about a weird night where “everthing went wrong”. Especially the ending is so bizarre, so unexpected, that you may wonder who may have written this film.

If you are a Scorsese-fan, you should definitely have seen this one, even it is a quite untypical work for the American director.

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