The film boasts an ensemble cast, with Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Chris Penn, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer all featured on the billing. However, the true stars of this dark, crime ridden romance are the two lovers, played by Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette.
Clarence Worley (Slater) and Alabama Whitman (Arquette) in a short time, form one of the most unconventionally beautiful relationships in film. While we learn little of either character’s history, Alabama’s recent and short lived career as a call girl sparks the descent deeper into a jungle of crime. While it’s Alabama’s past that links to this crime underworld, it’s Clarence’s enigmatic visions of his hero, Elvis that persuades and fuels him to deal with her past as he strives to protect his love.
Much of the A list cast features little, with supporting roles that fill a scene or two as the narrative moves on. Walken, for example, takes the role of mafia boss, Vincenzo Coccotti and in a single scene – a confrontation with Clarence’s ex-cop father – he showcases his talents with his typically confident and straight talking nature, providing the perfect caricature of the sinister, ruthless boss; running the show, pulling the strings. Though the bad guy is a rare role for him to play, he performs fantastically. The supporting cast are vital in creating a realistically violent and horrifying world surrounding the feature couple.
With Quentin Tarantino writing, the tone of the film was always going to be dark and his original script includes an unused nourish alternative ending. Though pre-Reservoir Dogs, this picture almost foregrounds his future releases; Ensemble casts, violent themes and a chaotic spiral of linking sub narratives bundling climatically into one.
Not only does the picture feature a legendary cast, writer and director in Tony Scott, but Hans Zimmer provides the music also. His recurring jovial xylophone score aids the romantic underlining of the film, as it reflects the pleasant fantasy that fits more conventionally with a tale of love; it could easily be dubbed into a scene of Tarzan, as he and Jane swing through the trees, and fit without question.
An exhilarating though evil world of crime provides much violence and suspenseful entertainment around an unorthodox, but intensely magnificent romance.