As I was about to take my nightly rest, I began to think of one of my favorite Pacino movies, Serpico. It is to be known right now that Al Pacino was my first cinematic love and has always been my favorite actor. I could tell the tale of how I first fell for him and his talents but that is for later. Now is Serpico.
How could I summarize this movie in its totality? I’ll just write about what I remember because this I have not been seen in years maybe.
The movie opens (if I am wrong, there may be a montage instead) with Frank Serpico sitting in the back of a police car, with his left cheek splattered with blood, as he is clutches to the last few chances he has to taste the wondrous vitality of living. Now, the audience doesn’t know why he’s wounded and why all the cops are phoning each other, saying Serpico’s been shot. It seems that the movie has sort spoiled the ending already but watching it all the way through is worth it. Serpico is taken to the hospital on a gurney where he is to be given urgent medical care. Nurses start to undress him to ease the complication of operating and we get to see Pacino’s feet, which is unreal for me because they were the cutest, god-given feet I had ever seen. The whole movie lapses to a much better time, the past. Serpico is graduating from the police academy, finally gaining his independence, and just starting his life in New York (where nearly all Pacino movies take place) overall.
The cops in the police station that he works for see him as that young newbie so they infantilize him when giving him orders. All Serpico wanted to do was bring forth chastisement to all the dicks who meant to bring harm to the city he loved. In one instance, he and some other cop were driving around at night as they were informed that possible rape was occurring in some nearby street. Serpico was ready to arrest some dicks immediately! The idiotic cop told him that this wasn’t his field because he was only a “patrol cop”. Now I remember his funny childish temper burst when he started screaming and demanding to stop these fiends. My darling Serpico confronted these bastards who were threatening to slice the throat of some lady if she didn’t stop crying aloud. He pointed his gun to them as they dashed away. Oh, no. My darling targeted one of them and chased him with all of his might. He ran like hell and tackled him to the ground. The other cops later reproached him for making this arrest. Once again, this wasn’t his field. AH, these simpletons! He was mindful enough of the fiend’s probable innocence to the point of even buying him coffee and giving him a pep talk!
My memory is hazy about the following occurrences. I remember, however, that he got into more trouble for bringing more justice and making arrests. Aside of his unhappy profession, his personal life was turning out to be pretty thrilling. He got himself a female companion, a dog, and started to partake in ballet dancing and attending these parties full of avant-garde people. He also grew a mustache and his hair, which I liked. All these new attributes started to make his co-workers think he was gay. They even accused him of sucking some other guy’s cock when the light went out in the bathroom.
Ah, yes! One of my favorite parts in the movie was when he is at work and reading Isadora Duncan’s autobiography. I changed my name to hers because of this movie. It is such a fetching name that has never left my head. One of his co-workers ask him why the hell he is getting more fascinated with such a feminine interest as ballet and he responds by teaching him how to do a plié. I took ballet in my childhood and loved the hell out of it. The scene enticed me to regress to the past and be nine again when I would bend down during my ballet lesson every Tuesday morning in Catholic school. Seeing Al Pacino twirl is one of my joys in life.
Another part I love is when he is driving and singing along off-key to the Italian Opera playing on the radio. The film has outlandish moments like that.
Soon things at work worsened when the sanctity of policemen was tragically sullied with corruption. Not only that, the cops started to work with unprofessional ethics, such as smoking pot on the job.
Despite of his curiosity with experimentation, he began to see how the oath to justice was just a mere fable to keep people calm. These goddamn cops even allowed criminals to pay them off so they would not be locked in prison. Now that my darling witnessed the aforementioned injustice, he was the only one left to put a stop to this. At one point, he got so inundated with these falsities that he threw what I would call….a Pacino fit.
He hits just like he does in his other films. I love this actor so much that I walk down the steps just like he does. The hips! Oh, yes! Doesn’t one ever notice that during most of the time when he converses with other actors in scenes, he holds his hips? I do that. That is just magnificent.
He became so fixated on the idea of fighting corruption that he began to neglect his girlfriend, his friends and even his dog, I think. This job was taking over his life. Now, I’m not going to tell the ending. Watch the film….just watch it. Pacino’s acting demonstrates young, unnoticed talent in any way it can. It is, by all means, worth watching, remembering and talking about.
One real life injustice was that he did not win an Oscar in 1974 when he was nominated.
Oh, by this time, my darling Pacino had done so many of those classic performances we love. He couldn’t even win as Michael Corleone! His best performance was in the second Godfather, in my opinion, which deserved this sort of award with no excuses. He should have at least gotten one for Serpico. Look at his eyes in that film and see how well he is engrossed and concentrated in his character. Personally, I love my darling Al Pacino and I think he deserves more Oscars for more than just Scent of a Woman. HOO-AH! I just had to include that.
To conclude this post of my enthusiasm for a Pacino film, I am to obviously recommend it to anyone who likes cop movies or just Al Pacino as an actor. Need I say more? This film is enigmatic. Watch it. The soundtrack is most enjoyable to listen to.