Matilda, a 12-year-old girl, who is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Matilda form an unusual friendship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
I love 'Leon'. I think it's a very good film. Luc Besson is the french Quintin Tarantino. I've never seen a Luc Besson film before, what a joy it was watching this. It's a very moderate and contempary film, with a simple plotline to it. It's about an Assassin called Leon who is paid to kill people, he's quick on his feet and tacticle in the way he goes about his job. He's the shadow of the night, the man underneath the bed, the sneaker, etc.
Into that you have your supporting character which is Matilda, played by a very young Natalie Portman. A 12 Year old girl, who's family is brutaly murdered by Gary Oldman and his band of merry men. Leon takes her in after her family is killed and promises to look after her, and from the moment he opens the door to his room and lets her in, it's almost as if he lets her in to his life, and he suddenly finds companionship.
Then you've got Gary Oldman, who is just mental. But brilliant. His character is one who has a quick temper and has anger management issues. He is so tense to watch in this, he is dead serious in this for every single second, and you as the viewer take him seriously in turn.
It is a gripping story, with well crafted characters. Luc Besson's movie Léon (The Professional) gives us an intense story which is maximized by the potential of the casting of the film.
More of less, every aspect of the film gives the audience an impressive finished product. Jean Reno is fantastic as Leon. Has a beautifully suttle french accent, which is very deep and moderately sounding.
The performance delivered by then twelve-year old Natalie Portman as Mathilda is very good. Her ability to relate to the other characters in her body language and facial gestures is matched by few, she really brings raw emotion and believability to a difficult role. Matilda and Léon are unexpectedly thrown together, but learn to value life from their chance encounter, and how valuable a friendship can be.
'Leon' is what film making is all about. Without the overuse of special effects, a large shooting location, or a commercially well cast, we are given all that could possibly be asked for in a movie. Portman, Oldman, and Reno, along with Danny Aiello as the hit-contractor Tony remind us that there is no substitute for great acting.
There are elements of comedy, drama, and action, and great original music by Eric Serra adds to the energy the film contains. The most impressive thing about the film is its story which is basic but is maximized by all the other elements which go into the making of it. Simply put, an intense and impressive product. 8/10
Next : War Horse