Jim Jarmusch is someone whose films bring a very polarising response in me. I adore some and detest others but even I can’t deny that the guy is easily one of the most creative and underappreciated filmmakers in the world today. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is one film of his I was yet to see and the fact that Forest Whitaker was in it gave me more of an incentive to watch it besides it’s intriguing plot.
So the film basically follows the story of the titular character Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker), a loner, hit-man and a man of very few words who models himself after the samurai. Ghost Dog works for Louie, a minor mob boss, and believes he believes he is indebted to for saving his life, So Ghost Dog slowly and quietly does Louie’s dirty work for him and the mafia, that is until he accidently kills a member of the mob and soon finds himself at odds with the mafia.
Ghost Dog has got to be one of the strangest and coolest films I have ever come across and I love the fact that it is so strange and cool.
Forest Whitaker, in one of the best performances of his career, drives the film in a wonderfully understated turn. But it’s Jarmusch’s triumph as a storyteller that’s even more note-worthy. He provides Whitaker with such a perfect platform to showcase his performance. His style of filmmaking is elegant to say the least, and cinematic in every way. He crafts this film superbly well, and even though the film has a surprisingly minimal amount of dialogue Jarmusch was able to draw me in with this unique atmosphere he creates. This movie is all about mood and moments from straight-up bizarre ones to potent and moving ones. The story is profound and extremely absorbing, brimming with idiosyncrasies, surrealism and dark humor. It’s just an altogether brilliant film, right up there with Stranger Than Paradise and Broken Flowers as some of Jarmusch’s best work.