Director: Michael Mann
The gangster film is far from my favourite genre, as its emphasis on greed and crime just does not appeal to me. However, Mann's film kept me interested from the beginning, as we are introduced to the disparate characters that we will get to know of the course of this long story. Perhaps it is the emphasis on the personal lives of these characters that drew me in, from de Niro's perennial loneliness, or Pacino's Hanna's troubled marriage.
The film has a wonderful colour scheme, lots of moody blues and greys, which challenge the passion implied in the title. 'Heat' here refers to the pressure of a situation, and how one's reaction to it is the true display of character. This is brilliantly discussed in the famous scene of de Niro and Pacino over coffee. It is not hard to see why this scene is so celebrated; the two clearly have a great deal of mutual respect for each other, and it peels back the roles of cop and criminal to reveal the humanity they share. The heist scene is unrelenting, and the audience feels caught in the line of fire along with the characters; the hissing of the bullets are terrifying!
This is a great film which managed to win over this reluctant viewer with its well-developed characters acted by two of the best actors to grace the screen, and its subdued cinematography that takes you into these people's conflicted lives.