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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Homicide
Directed by David Mamet
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 05/91 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - language, violence

In Homicide, Bobby Gold is a detective who has 20 citations for valor. Whenever someone has to be the first through a dangerous doorway, Bobby is the one who volunteers. He's a good talker as well and is often sent in as a hostage negotiator.

He's a very cool operator until an FBI agent calls him a "little kike" in an argument. Bobby doesn't let it go. On the way to a drug bust, he stops to assist another officer at the scene of a murder in a ghetto store. The victim is an old Jewish woman. Her relatives are convinced that her killing is the result of anti-Semitism.

Gold protests when he's told to stay on this case. Suddenly he finds himself coming face-to-face with his very mixed feelings about his Jewish identity. A scholar criticizes him for not being able to read Hebrew. Then a group of Jewish zealots who are fighting back against neo-Nazi acts of terrorism condemn Gold for his unwillingness to help them when it requires him to go against police department regulations.

Writer and director David Mamet (House of Games, Things Change) has made another highly ethical film with Homicide. Joe Mantegna is gritty and ornery as Bobby Gold, the archetypal outsider who must constantly prove himself as a loyal team member. In this drama, his obsession with the murder of the old Jewish woman leads to the tragic death of his partner (William H. Macy in an impressive performance). A person of integrity lives or dies by his or her loyalties and when they are divided, chaos rushes in to claim the soul.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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