Scarface

Scarface ★★★★

Brian De Palma's drug fuelled frenzy of a remake of Howard Hawks' pre-code gangster classic is one of the most quotable, vile, revolting and satisfying gangster pictures ever made. Not to mention iconic.

Tony Montana, a character who will easily go down in history as one of the greatest pricks and supreme badasses of all time, is someone you can never quite forget once you've experienced him.
His titular scar, his flashy style, his jutted-out jaw and the thick Cuban accent give him his uniqueness, but it's his infinite lust for power and unmitigated craziness which make him truly memorable. And of course, his 'little friend'.


Following the character's unstoppable rise from immigrant dishwasher to drug kingpin and his uncontrollable fall into the fathomless pits of drugs and violence, Scarface is a terrifically told story.
It's simple and straightforward enough but you never know what's coming up or who might die next. It's the insanity of Tony and the masterful storytelling of De Palma which hold your attention, never once letting you to question the tiny indescrepencies in the screenplay or the overall simplistic nature of the plot.

You are subject to one of the finest performances from one of the greatest actors, why would you care if his family magically appears to be living in America despite him being a lonely immigrant from Cuba?
Also, what De Palma does with these characters to construct his sinister subplot is another great reason to skip the nitpicking and dive right in.


Pacino is at the top of his game with Montana. His rage, his whacked out 'all or nothing' attitude and his 'hunger' are brought out splendidly well by the legend. From the go you know this is no guy to be fucked with.
And even when pride and wrath have trapped him in the jaws of certain death, what does Tony have to say?

"Come on! I take you all to fuckin' hell."

Pacino is ably supported by Michelle Pfeiffer as his junkie-skank wife along with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as his sister whom he secretly lusts for.


With a knockout of a screenplay by Oliver Stone that has quotable and occasionally meaningful dialogues through and through and handled by the adept Brian De Palma, Scarface is a film high on style over everything else. There is this undeniable cinematic sexiness to it when Tony (pretty much knocked off over the edge by his sister and buddy's death, his own extremely imminent one, and truckloads of cocaine) says: "You wanna play rough? Say hello to my little friend."

Thanks to the tightly knit screenplay and Pacino's towering performance Scarface is one long snort of cocaine with a clip of bullets and a few pints of blood added to taste.

Tipu Sultan liked this review