Review: Mona Lisa
Blu-Ray: Mona Lisa (1986)
George (Bob Hoskins) newly released from prison, moves in with his mate Thomas (Robbie Coltrane) and ends up back in the employment of Mortwell (Michael Caine) taking a high class call girl (Cathy Tyson) from customer to customer.
‘Mona Lisa…….Mona Lisa men have named you…..‘ Nat King Cole’s voice singing this classic song oozes through this movie, giving a blatant nostalgic romanic edge to the story and allowing it to be almost a fairytale of lost love, instead of a grubby drugged up whore’s lament. What a joy to re-watch this film again. Arrow’s beautiful re-working of the print is fantastic. And the commentary by Neil Jordan and bits of Hoskins is a huge bonus.
I do think the older you get the more emotional nuances in performance speak to you on a personal level. Bob Hoskins rightly won every critic’s award going for his portrayal of George; a con who believes the mob boss (Caine) ‘Owes him’ for his prison stint. He’s a bit thick you see, a bit plain and stupid and common, but when he finally opens his heart to Tyson’s Simone, your heart bleeds for his character. He is wholly believable.
When you think of Hoskins, you tend to think of either Who Framed Roger Rabbit or The Long Good Friday; which is similar territory to Mona Lisa, but doesn’t have the intelligence or heart of Neil Jordan’s film. My only complaint would be the end, although perfect for the story, seems a little rushed. This could turn into a long and ponderous review, filled with analysis and the role of women, women as victims etc… Instead I will say if you want to watch a heart wrenching story of real depth, chuck away the wife’s copy of The Notebook and make her watch this. I defy anyone not to shed a tear on Brighton Pier.
Special Edition Contents:
- Brand new restoration sourced from the original camera negative, approved by director Neil Jordan and cinematographer Roger Pratt
- High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
- Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by Bob Hoskins and Neil Jordan
- Brand new interviews with director Neil Jordan, writer David Leland and producer Stephen Woolley
- Original Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.