Concise Review: True Romance (1993)


True Romance is a love story that is worthy of the movies. At times, it is idealised and sincere. However, on other occasions, it is tough and dangerous. The biggest strength of the film is that it expertly balances these two disparate elements without ever feeling inauthentic or whiplash-inducing. The result is a soft gooey affair with an inherent hard edge. In fact, some of its strange moments such as Clarence (Christian Slater) having conversations with a ghost of Elvis Presley mark the film at its most fascinating. Both the lovers are not perfect, whether, by their background or traits, they are shown as real and authentic human beings.

And their overriding goal of running away and making a life for themselves feels instantly universal. This simple conceit makes the outlandish and terrifying encounters that they come across feel ever more compelling. But it also makes the film feel effortless and memorable, whether talking about Gary Oldman’s strange and frightening performance as a dread locked pimp or Tony Scott’s visceral roller coaster scene that cleverly evokes the feeling of excitement and dizziness. True Romance is also a film full of scary and charming small moments, which is one of the reasons why it has endured for over twenty years.

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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