True Romance (1993)

Nothing says Romance, like drugs and murder

Clarence (Christian Slater) meets Alabama (Patricia Arquette), the woman of his dreams and spends one of the best nights of his life with her. She later comes clean to him that she's really a hooker, hired to keep Clarence company. After they get married, Clarence manages to steal cocaine from her pimp, and devises a plan to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the coke are trying to reclaim it.

A film centering around a romance has to make us care for these characters who are in love, and buy in to their romance. I am pleased to say that this film manages to do all of the above, giving us a brilliantly believable relationship between Clarence, the charming and likable Elvis fan, and Alabama, the sweet and loyal former call-girl.

Gary Oldman was utterly unrecognizable as Drexl, the white drug-dealing pimp who acts like he's black. It didn't register with me that it was Gary Oldman playing Drexl until a few scenes into the film, but he manages to pull off the role with great intimidation, whilst managing to steal the scenes he appears in. Dennis Hopper plays his role remarkably well, and manages to give off a brilliant monologue to Christopher Walken's intimidating character that ranks highly amongst the best of Tarantino's written dialogue.

Quentin Tarantino may not have been on directing duties for this film, but his script boasts all of the typical stuff you'd expect from a film by Tarantino himself, the well utilized use of music, the script packed with well written dialogue and witty Tarantinoesque lines (feel free to use Tarantinoesque in your every day vocabulary).

"For our honeymoon, let's kill someone and sell drugs"

The film manages to boast a great sense of danger all throughout, as it is unafraid to kill off it's characters no matter how brilliant they are, in quite some shocking deaths. This sense of danger is pretty much pushed to the limit's in the film's bloody final act. The action is brilliant, which goes well with the unrelenting violence.

I was quite disappointed to see that Christopher Walken only appeared in one scene, whilst Brad Pitt was pretty much wasted in his small role as the lazy stoner roomate. Also, I did find it strange how Clarence goes into killing due to some advice he gets from a hallucination of Elvis, played by Val Kilmer. While this  does seem like a strange way to get Clarence into actually going into killing, it does show that Clarence's love for Elvis runs much deeper than just admiration, to the point where Clarence is mentally imaging The King giving him advice and praise.

True Romance is a very well acted film that gives us one of the best romance's you'll see on screen, great characters, brilliant action and very Tarantinoesque dialogue that slots perfectly in place alongside the other pieces of brilliance Quentin Tarantino is responsible for giving us.


Aditya Gokhale said…
Excellent review man...I am yet to see this..I feel terrible about it, but I intend to pretty soon!
James Rodrigues said…
@Aditya Gokhale don't feel too bad, you can't see every excellent film out there. I look forward to reading a review about this film
Anonymous said…
Nice review of one of my all-time favourite films. Tarantino wrote this and Natural Born Killers as one story, so it's essentially a prequel to NBK. Think he sold the it as 2 films though to make more money or something.
Anonymous said…
I enjoyed this film when it came out, particularly the whole cast of actors whom I love. I agree Walken was wasted! He's my favorite too. Cheers...
I have seen True Romance 1993 many times and I can say this film is a celeb - a showcase of Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino celebrating their cinematographic talent. Thank your review so much :)