Movie Review: You Kill Me (2007)
Ben Kingsley will be forever known as Gandhi, but in this wondrously off-beat dark comedy, he's an alcoholic hitman (Frank) searching for his piece of mind. It sounds strangely like a pop song tucked away for years that you somehow know the lyrics to--fresh and familiar at the same time. Underneath the laughs and killers' smiles, You Kill Me is a story of redemption. Rising from the ashes--something we all support. Exiled (more like sent on an all-expenses-paid cruise) from Buffalo to San Francisco, Kingsley's character meets Téa Leoni (Laurel), and that's where the struggle comes. They're both screwed up, burnt, and in need of being mesmerized by each other. Works very well on-screen.
Luke Wilson chimes in as Frank's AA sponsor, and there's this understory of his Polish gangster family back in Buffalo getting outsted by a rival Irish gangster family. You want to see Ben Kingsley, the legend, working at a part-time mortuary, part-time hitman monk who Bill Pullman's character accuses/compliments of "living like a Mormon." You want to admire his obsession with assassination efficiency. His strained smile, gumption, and grey morality make the protagonist a truly entertaining psychological viewing prospect. It's not a movie chock full of one liners, although there a few; it's a movie wholly unique, yet brings up the question, "why wasn't this done before?" It can be watched in any mood and will have you marveling at the care and craftsmanship that the refined Kingsley brings to the role. Worth every awkwardly-calibered second.