The Outfit – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Outfit – Cuts and Needles: A Tailor-Made Thriller

What is it that brings worth to a story.  Is it the pristine nature of the world? Is it the bombastic display of the action?  Is it the intimate settings of the heart?  Whatever it may be, that worth ultimately be … the story itself.  In this review, I look at the latest mystery/thriller to hit the big screen.  A genuine tale of the typical ‘whodunit’ motif, it becomes more within its simplicity.  The Outfit is an old fashion thriller that shows what it means to be …a tailor-made man.  

The story centers around Leonard (Mark Rylance), a master tailor who runs a shop in Chicago.  Along with his assistant Mable (Zoey Dutch), they make the finest of clothing that attracts the business of the local mob.  When their lives are threatened, Leonard must find a way to survive the gangster’s plight.   On the surface, this film plays within the simple mystery/thriller foundation.  Within that generalization, you get a period piece that uses that simplicity as its strength.  In the beginning, you’re introduced to the characters, tailor shop and how Chicago gangsters use it as front.  As you get a subtle buildup of the foundation, it creates an authenticity to the ‘everyday’ nature of their lives while alluding to something that may not be what it seems.  As the story progresses, you have a sequence that leads up to Leonard (and later Mable) getting caught up with the gangster and a specific item (McGuffin).  Stuck between the war of two gangs, Leonard (through a series of events) must use his conversational wit to figure a way for him (and Mable) to survive the night.  From this point, the basic genre elements become an impersonal motif of survival, creating an ominous web of ‘back and forth’ conversations that play into their predicament.  The mastering of the whole mood is through the subtlety of Rylance’s performance.  His physical mannerism, tone and awareness of the instants creates a dynamic character that has more to offer than being a tailor.  It is a fortuitous display of the ‘whodunit’ trope that rises above genre gimmicks because of the strong lead character in Leonard.

As the mystery slowly reveals itself, it becomes a manner of truth and lies.  That alluring factor of general descriptions, personal backgrounds and individual rewards showcases a script that is precise in its dialogue.  Everything spoken, physical mannerism and red herrings magnify the thrills to create a mood of relevancy.  As relationship dynamic start to unravel, it leads into a third act where revelations become a manner of design.  Certain twist become a moment of surprise without fault, leading to an unexpected climax that levels out the journey to being a strong old fashion thriller.  The Outfit is a film that allows the simplicity to raise the stakes of the story.  With strong acting and unexpected outcomes, it is an intense ride.  If you are a fan of thrillers, suspense of mystery films, this is one for you.  It will keep you guessing … til the end.  

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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