As reviewed by a character in a David Mamet play.
This guy, this Mamet, he does his thing, and it’s his thing. Over and over again. Tough guys, fragile gals, a traitorous bitch. Maybe one you can love too, though that’s always suspect. That’s his world. It’s a franchise…like a McDonald’s. A Starbucks. His world. His thing. You walk in, you know, right there, where else could you be? Not bloody Burger King, that’s for sure.
This one’s about a fight, about business. Some guy, runs a dojo, a place to train. He’s a fighter. A teacher. That’s it, nothing else, he’s not some legendary… He’s got a past, barely…but that’s not…he just fights. Fuck business. Business is just another word for “Give me what I want.” The fight’s the thing. For this guy, for this movie. There’s honor in it. Guy like Mamet, he knows the word, he mulls it. Same with this guy, this fighter. He lives the fight. Don’t do, be. That’s it, that’s his thing. You know anything about the man, you know this.
Let’s talk about atmosphere, about tone. That’s his thing, his brand, his signature. Partly it’s the rhythms, right? Like…not a typewriter really… like the rhythm of a stare-down. It’s mano-a-mano. He makes movies, yeah, but they don’t feel like… they feel like another thing. High stakes. Poker, maybe. Everyone’s at the table’s wearing shades, probably carrying a knife. High stakes.
Then there’s the talk…that’s the meat of it… guy never lets someone finish a… When people speak…when people speak …what do they say? Men especially. It’s always men for this guy. Wearing suits, ties… wearing uniforms, engaged in business. You could say ugly business, but that’d be redundant. They don’t call it work because it’s easy. So it’s men, at work, talking work talk. It ain’t pretty.
Except it’s always… It’s always something else. Who’s ever straightforward anyway? You talk to people, to men, what do they say? They say what, how are you, nice weather, gee I’m tired. They say, did you get a haircut? Nice tie. You ever met somebody on an elevator and they tell you about their mother? The time they watched a friend die on the battlefield? No, he says, shit, it’s only Tuesday. There’s not much there. But at the same time, there’s a lot… you never really know. That’s his thing, Mamet’s, his signature… his franchise, always, in repetition. I… I could be saying anything to you. Anything at all, right now. This is work, it’s high stakes. You never know. Never. And if you do, well… what then? What then?