Dan Gertler Reviews: Snatch

Snatch is one of the more unique crime comedy films there are, featuring an ensemble cast, a quintessential British humor, and a rhythm that utilizes cinematography in a fun, Tarantino-style way. It’s not the kind of comedy that will make you laugh, necessarily, but it is highly amusing in an intelligent, English kind of way that certainly justifies its comic attribution.

The film revolves around a precious jewel, an oversized diamond, wanted by London’s small time crooks, mobster boss, diamond dealers, and others who join along the way. The diamond changes many hands (including a dog’s), and ends up in quite an unpredictable one. There is no one main character, nor is there one sub-story that receives more attention than the rest. Yet it seems every story gets its deserved screen-time and eventually it all comes together to a coherent, amusing narrative.

A great aspect of the film is the characters’ accents. Rade Serbedzija (Boris “The Blade”) adopts an absurdly stereotypical accent of a Russian Gangster. Alan Ford (Brick Top) sends shivers down the spines of the viewers in his slow, calculated speech on man-eating pigs. Brad Pitt’s (Mickey) gypsy dialect gives his character the extra edge it needed, allowing him to be authentic and have fun at the same time. But for me Benicio del Toro’s (Franky Four Fingers) is the jewel in the crown, just because his soft, calm voice makes a diamond theft sound like his taking a nice walk in the park.

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Unfortunately, Snatch was released only a year after Ritchie’s other film, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. Two films that seem to be almost a replica of each other. They take place in the same scenery (London’s underworld), the characters have the same flashy names (Turkish, Bullet Tooth Tony, etc.), and the plot progresses in a pace that would have been unique if it hadn’t been recycled in such a blunt way. The better of the two is undoubtedly Snatch, and even though it loses a great deal of its uniqueness due to its predecessor, it remains a cleverly fun movie.

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