Plunkett & Macleane [1999]

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Abishai100, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Abishai100
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    Well, after a long hiatus from posting on USMB, I decided to return for a sentimental review of an outstanding modern-era film which is really arguably my favorite movie and maybe the best artistic movie about fortune-and-bravado ever made.

    Plunkett & Macleane is a fun and well-wrought period-piece directed by Jake Scott. The movie presents the history-dramatization story of real-life 18th Century 'highwaymen' in England who robbed from the aristocracy. The film stars Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, and Liv Tyler. There's also a very good supporting cast of actors/characters.

    This is a terrific movie/story for fans of Dickensian or even modern renditions of society-customs fable stories. It's basically the opposite of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, but I don't mean that in a dark or negative way. It's the opposite in the sense that it tells the story of wanderers who find spiritual convenience becoming terrific robbers. So there's a tinge of optimism, as in Oliver Twist, a story about orphans.




    :2cents:

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    In this film, we get awesome scenes and sequences of outlandish robberies and masked antics. Carlyle and Miller are just perfect as the duo of highwaymen-robbers who decide stealing from the aristocracy is its own spiritual reward. The dialogue is smart and the atmospherics are perfect for the subtly complex story about the contradictions and intricacies of class-layering in civilization.

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    The bold highwaymen are pursued by a ruthless and almost evil lawman named Mr. Chance who will not pardon these two daring robbers for anything! This guy is a super-creepy lawman, but he follows all laws to the letter and is endorsed by symbolic figures of great power and pomp. Mr. Chance is meanwhile somewhat stalking the lovely daughter of one of these men of pomp-and-power, the gorgeous Lady Rebecca Gibson (Liv Tyler). Mr. Chance is perhaps the most sinister lawman ever depicted in cinema and is portrayed well by Ken Stott.

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    When Lady Rebecca meets Captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller), a smooth-talking man who once mingled with aristocracy until he ended up in debtor's prison, she realizes Macleane is both offbeat and somewhat dangerous to love. She nevertheless finds him very appealing and magnetic. Macleane meanwhile is smitten with her. This is a very realistic and cool love-story.

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    The aristocracy who fall 'prey' to Plunkett and Macleane are simultaneously stereotypical and luxurious. We get some great supporting work from some good actors who comprise this high-brow pompous society. We feel like we're immersed in 18th Century England as we explore what might drive daring highwaymen to commit their outlandish and risky robberies in the name of love and adventure!

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    The scene in which the highwaymen invade an aristocratic outdoor garden-party and dinner in front of fireworks and attempt to rob all the dinner-guests while the pompous guests are thinking they're merely 'hired entertainers' performing some kind of 'social exhibition stunt' is just nifty.

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    Since the casting and storytelling and camera-work and atmospherics make this movie an ideal casual and fun movie-viewing experience, this makes a terrific Valentine's Day or birthday gift for a movie fan you know who enjoys stories about general social dilemmas. I give this design-rich movie 5/5 stars, with no hesitation!

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    In summary, Plunkett & Macleane is the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, in my honest opinion. Maybe that's because since the 1980s, we've craved movies about stylish adventure (such as True Lies) regardless of the era or story they present. In fact, I think Plunkett & Macleane is right up there with The First Great Train Robbery (Sean Connery) and Death and the Maiden (Sigourney Weaver). This was a joy to watch...and even a stimulating 'recital' to review for USMB!

    I've included a YouTube link to the movie (satisfactory quality) below but you should really see this on Blu-ray.

    Thanks for reading (love to hear other fan comments),

    ====


    :5_1_12024:

     
  2. Abishai100
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    Knights of the Road(?)


    I found this rather intriguing documentary about highwaymen, which seems rather pertinent to share!



     

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