This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
gillian oakley’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
i love michael mann. miami vice is one of the best films ever made. i love being a filmbro. but today i rewatched with a friend and i was reminded of the inherent love and respect mann has for all of his women characters. and especially in heat his most popular and successful film.
heat gives more screentime and care to it's women characters than you would expect for a film about cops and criminals. vincent hanna and neil mccauley both come from different sides of the law. vincent is a cop. neil is a professional criminal. they are both workaholics - they have both given up their dreams and happiness to succeed in their jobs. they both have dreams about the people that have been hurt by them or around them.a
vincent is on his third marriage. he's married to justine, who is very irritated and frustrated with the lack of commitment vincent is giving her in their marriage. vincent also has a step-daughter, lauren, who's father is distant and not supportive. this gives lauren, a young teenage girl, insufferable anxiety and depression.
neil lives with the motto "don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner." but yet he yearns. he starts a relationship with eady, an upcoming graphic designer who works at a bookshop to pay the bills. he cares for her. but still pushes this mantra, this religion of no commitments, no relationships, no basic building blocks of healthy human living.
the toxic, selfish, horrid masculinity that both vincent and neil hold up in both of their professions effects the women in their lives. they both care so much for the women in their lives. it's obvious. but they can only give so much time in their lives to them. time is catching up to them. and they regret so much. they regret not caring as much they could've. they regret not showing how much they care. and it's almost like the irishman is a perfect companion piece to this film.
and it's not just vincent and neil in that are upholding this impossible expectation. it's lauren's dad. it's chris. it's the criminal world. it's the LAPD. heat shows the effects of patriarchy in a perfect way. yes, the action scenes and building of tension is perfect. i don't need to talk about that.
the main reason i love michael mann's films so much is because of the amount of care and love he gives to his women characters. it's beautiful and touching. and it makes me sad how some women might not ever watch his films because of filmbro-gatekeeping.
i just.... love heat