Light Sleeper (Schrader, 1992)

Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader, 1992)

There is a lot of good things going for this film, and I probably would have liked it better, but I watched it in a much more broken fashion than I would have wished. Light Sleeper is a ‘street’ drama about a small group of drug dealers. But this film is much more about the characters than anything else. Willem Dafoe plays a broken man who is attempting a last effort to make his life into something. All of his efforts are subtle, and the film focuses more on his loneliness and longing for relationship than anything, but small changes in his life are very obviously happening.

Unfortunately, while the film was working great with its themes of loneliness and lost purpose, the plot picks up quite substantially and unnecessarily in the second half of the film. The film’s dramatic arc feels forced, and everything that follows is just not as good as the first half. Also, I have to mention the awful songs in this movie. The instrumental pieces are fine, but the songs with vocals were terrible. The first half of the film and instances of fantastic cinematography are enough to carry this film, though.  7.5/10

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