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Criticism of ‘The tailor of the mafia’, a return to the 50

The organized crime film, directed by Graham Moore, features a tailor who made suits on London’s notorious Savile Row.

    They are separated, in fiction, by about twenty years, yes, but there is much more that unites that lumpen antiques shop that David Mamet imagined in 1975 in his play (decades after the film) american buffalo with the exquisite neighborhood tailor that Graham Moore and Johnathan McClain open in The mafia tailor what separates them. Starting with the geographical location, Chicago, a city that is more of a mental and cinephile recreation (classic gangster movies and that class struggle inherent to street survival in a metropolis that is always a state of mind) than real, and following by a claustrophobic location where the characters engage in power struggles based fundamentally on lies.

    The mafia tailor it’s not a play but it could be and it’s filmed as if it were (excuse your prescient flashes of the past), with its unique setting and its few characters (as in Mamet’s dramatic artifact) coming in and out of the scene in a way voluntarily artificial, scenic. It could be him american buffalo (a tape with a telltale recording instead of a large coin) by David Mamet if the American author, screenwriter and director had set it a few years after (mid-1950s) the action of The Untouchables by Eliot Ness. There is a lot in Graham Moore’s film of those gangster topics made in Chicago, of the final war that gave power to the streets to the Italians, ousting the Irish and Afro-Americans, an element that is as decorative as the suits that the elegant cuts, phlegmatic and archetypally English protagonist (a huge Mark Rylance in his meditated and almost Zen interpretation) or the souvenirs that his assistant collects.

    Just as he cuts suits, the tailor cuts a story that already warns from the beginning of the film that it will be a puzzle of different pieces that do not seem to fit but that, sewn as they should be, do acquire a meaning, perhaps not the one that the spectators expected. but it is the one that ends up dressing all the participants in this game of deception and where the power of the word prevails over that of the bullets. The mafia tailor perhaps he abuses his plot twists in the final stretch (he may be over the last of them), but he has a wonderful theatrical style, a use of suspense where the least (a coat and a chest) is more and a brilliant knowing how to move in a minimum space that is appreciated in these days of puns and where it would even sound offensive and not at all mainstream to quote Oscar Wilde, who guessed everything about the human soul (weaknesses…) before David Mamet and Graham Moore.

    For clients of the couture thriller

    The best: the constant pulse between the characters of Mark Rylance and Johnny Flynn.

    The worst: the forced surprise in the epilogue.


    Direction: Graham Moore Original title: The Outfit Country: USA Year: 2022 Release date: 20–05-2021 Gender: Drama Film script: Johnathan McClainGraham Moore Duration: 106 minutes

    Synopsis: Leonard (Rylance) is an English tailor who made suits on London’s world famous Savile Row. After a personal tragedy he ends up in Chicago, working at a small tailor shop in a tough part of town where he makes fancy clothes for the only people around him who can afford them: a family of gangsters.

    Source: Fotogramas

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