Their attraction is instant, colored by the rosy-fiery sunset tones of Lucas Gath’s serene, deep-shadow cinematography, though they’re not immediately intent on making their troubled city an isle of joy. Saul spends much of his time wearing an ominously grinning “funny face” mask that makes your average dollar-store Joker getup look benevolent by comparison; fashioning himself as a kind of asphalt-level superhero, out for some manner of revenge on Miller’s character and his ilk, he ropes Zama into a meandering justice mission that suits her aimless purposes just fine. If the city’s going to hell, after all, you may as well find love on the way down.
THE PLAYLIST 2-24-2020
The mask – with its horror-movie grin that lands somewhere between The Joker and Momo, by very clear way of the “V for Vendetta” face favored by Anonymous – seems simply to fall out of an empty blue sky. It comes into the possession of Saul (Cosmo Jarvis), a disaffected, slouching loner with a boxer’s nose and a James Dean fixation who lives with his grandparents (Rhea Perlman and Dan Hedaya, whose one scene gives the film a brief crackle of realism). Or at least he used to; their Brooklyn home is being demolished to make way for a parking lot, at the
THE FILM STAGE 2-25-2020
The characterizations are threadbare and simple: Saul and Zama are the downbeat 99% (his creepy mask recalls both Joker and Anonymous); Miller’s character represents soulless commerce.