March 13th: Léon: The Professional

Leon-posterRelease Date: 1994
Director: Luc Besson
Why I picked this: Recommendation

It is stylish and violent, but I found this movie to be more touching than I expected. Hitman, or “cleaner,” Léon, played by Jean Reno, resides in New York City, and finds himself having to take care of child neighbor Mathilda, played by a young Natalie Portman, after her family is murdered. The perpetrator is corrupt and drug-addicted DEA agent Norman Stansfield, played by an amusingly intense Gary Oldman. Wanting revenge for the death of her little brother (not caring for the rest of her family, who abused her), Mathilda asks to be trained as a cleaner; Léon reluctantly complies.

Hit the jump for a Featured Guest Review by Keith Maverick:

The Professional. Reminds me of the days I wasn’t a professional. Quite an esteemed themed movie where with a hero and a villain.  For most cases, viewers are less likely to view killing others as hero work. But this is not the case, as the movie is in the eye of a killer.    The character “Léon”, starring Jean Reno, is a hardworking man who had immigrated to the New York in search of an opportunity. The Professional shows Leon has become part of the hit man business under the Italians. With his strong and stable character, he became a “Professional” in the business. However, like every man, they change once a woman comes into their lives. As the parents of a girl named Mathilda is murdered before his eyes, he takes in Mathilda as an apprentice. We shall call her, “The Apprentice.” Like every man that meets a woman they endure, they open up to the opportunities and style the woman offers. In many cases, it is a good and bad thing. The film has showed us the happiness a man can gain. But it could cost him his life, as the “Professional” begins to slip in his work and dies as a terrorist for the woman he loves. Although the film might seem scary filled with death, it has quite a surprising humor and satisfying drama. “The Professional” was not just an hero and villain film. It was about human connection. Humans interact with each other for opportunities. In many ways, our Personalities form from the people we meet. Although Leon kills for a living, he is still human which gives him the same opportunities just like any of us to change.

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