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Brutal satire of the real estate sales business.,
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This review is from: Glengarry Glen Ross [DVD]  (DVD)
After initially seeing this after a night out, thinking 'what on earth is this?' Glengarry Glen Ross has grown into one of my favourite films. At times hysterical and at others devastatingly serious, this is a film quite unlike any other that I have seen. I have not read the play or seen it at the theatre, but if it ever comes to a theatre near me I would definitely like to see it through its original medium.
Right off the bat this film has an unbelievable cast. Jack Lemmon is superb as the desperate sales veteran, struggling to keep up the pace. His sleazy sales calls are cringeworthy and despreately depressing. Al Pacino plays Ricky Roma, and some of his lines of dialogue have to be heard to be believed. They are nonsensical and incredibly funny at times, and although he does overact, to me it reminds me a little of Scarface (extremely comedic but in a very serious context). Ed Harris swears like a trooper, and is the guy that more of us will relate to - stuck in a job that he doesn't enjoy, with no real enthusiasm and a list of complaints as long as his arm. Alan Arkin is a bit of a sheep, who seems to get on with everyone but is basically the quiet guy who listens to the problems of the others. Kevin Spacey is one of my favourite actors, and he is also great in this. His exchanges with Pacino are legendary. Last, but not least, Alec Baldwin's 8 minute appearance is a real highlight, that will make you sit up and take attention from the off. I have watched that scene more times than I care to mention, and it has never lost its edge or its appeal.
Now for the film itself. Most people will probably already know the basic plot line, and having worked in the sales industry myself it gives a really pertinent message for me. The pressure to sell, no matter how morally bleak and devious, while not on par with my own work, is nonetheless something that is pushed very strongly in the sales industry. The reference to disinterested clients as 'deadbeats' is a term I have taken to using at work! Though this has not yet caught on, unfortunately.
There is an enormous amount of profanity in this film, so if you are aurally sensitive I would say you'd have to give this a miss. However, the quality of the acting alone is more than enough to redeem this, and in many cases the swearing is necessary and extremely impactful. Some of the most crushing comments are made by Baldwin, with no swearing necessary!