Based on my love for chess, I truly enjoyed the movieTower Heist last month. This was both from its comic relief that blended well with suspense that would keep a fan of chess at the end of the seat. Not only does the plot give an insight to the game but the plot circulates around well calculated moves in a game of thief steals from thief. The cast led by Eddie Murphy and Ben stiller attract the attention of viewers from the onset. Ben Stiller as Josh Kovac manages an executive residential apartment located in the City of New York while Eddie Murphy as Slide is a common thief who resides in the same neighborhood with Kovac. Kovac, being close to Shaw, one of his tenants, entrusts him with his employee’s pension and months later Shaw is arrested for fraud by FBI. Kovac has to save his employee’s pension by all means after getting wind from one female FBI agent that the funds were gone. Kovac’s tempers rise when an employee tries to commit suicide, thus his perception of Shaw changes. The suicide attempt sets the plot on a fiery roll because it reveals and emphasizes Kovac’s sense of guilt and responsibility for the fraud. Kovac goes to visit Shaw, who is under house arrest in the penthouse, and loses his composure smashing Shaw’s car, which makes him eventually lose his job. The female FBI agent on an impromptu date with Kovac discloses rumors of money hidden in the penthouse if he felt like having it, and it would not amount to crime because it is legally not known to be there. He assembles a few employees, who had been laid off with him, and further seeks the assistance of Slide to go after the money. The existing equilibrium between Shaw and Kovac’s deal is contravened, and in order to be restored, it is the responsibility of Kovac to become the villain. Just as a chess match, the thrill is in the calculated moves more than the sudden checkmate because this is where all the suspense and clues lie.
We had just played a series of chess matches with my roommate when we decided to walk into town to wind up on a Saturday afternoon. The movie advert at the theatre caught our attention because of the poster which stated; the best calculated heist in humor. The sudden rain made our option more obvious as we had three hours and cash to spare. The crowd was charged at the cinema hall, and the bustle was unmatched minutes to the screening. The movie through its confrontational dialogue and humour interrupted by silence had the audience either gasp or burst into prolonged hysterical laughter at different scenes.
The script uses the hidden talents, skills and qualifications of the cast to make viewers easily relate to the events. An example is the culture of working two jobs at a time to make ends meet or working while studying at the same time, just as the Russian receptionist who passed the bar and later came to represent Kovac. This happens towards the end of the movie. Other depictions of the day to day life include the doorman sharing his retirement dream and how he intends to spend his pension, as well as the Jamaican Barmaid’s work lease expiry. The green card and work permit issues are a common occurrence which immigrants face and more often than not find marrying a native as the best solution. Therefore, this movie unlike pure fiction, which thrills via impossible activities in real life being used, excites the viewers through offering unorthodox solutions to day to day difficult situations and dilemmas.
The movie is carefully restricted to indoors more than outdoors which makes the audience have an easy time relating every cast member’s role to the script. Viewers actually have an easy time flowing with the scenes because the focus on the scene activities is enhanced through cast naturalization. Assisting casts are in their conventional living or working environment, example being shop attendants statement that goes, “let me check for it in the backroom”. This incident, among other, prepares the audience psychologically to take in the events that follow which ensures a better understanding of the plot.
The most outstanding feature in the movie is the use of color to create a focus without directly letting the audience know from the beginning. Take an example of the color red on the classic racing car belonging to Shaw in the penthouse. Its bright, shiny and attractive appearance draws great attention to it and indeed achieves its intention. The trick is to have the audience with assistance of the cast be blinded by the external aesthetic appeal. The audience cannot think of what lies underneath the color, yet all the keys to the plots intrigue are safely tacked in the body and within the car. Case in hand is when early in the movie, Kovac goes smashing the vehicle’s glassware in fury but does not in a moment think of denting the body. It takes an accidental bullet to hit the cars bonnet, scratch the red paint and expose its pure gold body just as the movie gets to its climax.
Despite having a keen follow-up on reality, some stunts were important in entertaining the mind. How does one speed through a whole street full of matching parades of entertainers yet not knock one down? How does the red car manage to be swung without something fatal happening into a lower floor of the hotel? These are a few blood-rushing scenes that have been used to develop viewer anxiety, which is essential for audience concentration.
The most noteworthy aspect is in how the plot is developed gradually based on the game of chess relationship that begins at a friendly note between Kovac and Shaw. This relationship is translated and grows in the mind of the audience as the two confront each other, and their mind game intensifies with reference to the game. They engage in a witty conversation where Kovac tactfully exposes his game plan to the horror of Shaw in a prison van. Their final conversation ends in style to explain the plots intrigue using the word, Checkmate!