Chinese Coffee

Socrates By Socrates, 10th Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Drama

My take on the Movie Chinese Coffee which according to me is a writer's delight.

A Writer's delight.

Set in the backdrop of the bohemian 'Greenwich Village' or simply called as 'Village' this is a story of two sophist Jake(Jerry Orbach) and Harry (Al Pacino) who happen to be friends, well its more of a delusional friendship as it comes out to be in the movie.It is actually based on a play written by Ira Lewis who is behind the screenplay of the movieas well.It was directed by Al Pacino himself.

Harry is a bohemian writer living penniless and almost breathless in that basement, a wandering survivor, working in those french restaurants as a doormen( from where he gets fired eventually).Adding to the misery is the fact that he has worked in 25 such joints.His hang out paradise is the Chinatown where he find his cream loaded Chinese coffee which puts him at peace according to him and inspires him somehow.

Jake is an extremely complex character who has been portrayed as a very intellect and articulate person who wanted to be a novelist but wasn't able to overcome the block he suffered after he wrote two short stories in his adolescence.Throughout the movie that pain on his part has been highlighted by his verbal artistry with some beautiful prose shining through him.

The movie is based on the conversation or one can say a confrontation of two oldies who believes that there stand won't last much long now with periodic flashbacks of the moments showing the rapport they shared, love life of Harry which was done and dusted with, his groaning about him being a failure yelling at his lady in that tiny room of his which appeared to be portable, the possessive lady love of Jake who was a rich fairy who according to Jake stole the artiste in him and left him taking pictures in the night clubs.

The high point of the movie is its articulate conversation between the two.Keeping in mind that its between two artistes its full of prose, improvisation, expressive faces which draws you into it, submerge you to be precise.It starts on a lighter vein with Harry pursuing Jake about his new manuscript which is supposedly based on camaraderie shared between two of them.But as the play gathers time the corpses from the past starts to unveil from both sides, the frustration of them getting old and frail, having few pennies left to there name and there breath shrinking with the world around them speeding ahead.It also throws light on the fact that how these artistes live there life as a wanderer to be a writer but recognition and those bucks eludes them.

Watch the movie for its character development which i think is very real.The transition it shows between two friends which ends up leaving a bitter taste in there mouth.Some of the most intense novelist like Thomas Wolfe, Tolstoy, Henry miller are also mentioned which goes with the mood.The monologue of Harry just before the closing moments where he summarize his whole life will take your breath away.It will certainly help your eyes shed those tears.

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