When I first read the synopsis for The Outfit, it sounded interesting but it is when I saw the trailer, that I knew that I was intrigued. I was excited to see Mark Rylance in such an engaging role and the rest of the cast alongside him appeared equally entertaining in their roles. While I love entertainment, this film rises far above simple enjoyment. This is one of the most masterful films I’ve seen in the last few years, full of thrills and suspense.
The Outfit is a crime drama directed by Graham Moore in his directorial debut from a screenplay by Moore and Jonathan McClain. The plot centers around an English tailor, Leonard (Mark Rylance) who used to tailor suits on Savile Row. After a personal tragedy, Leonard finds himself in Chicago, operating a small tailor shop in a rough part of town where he crafts beautiful suits for a family of gangsters. While he is content, his young assistant Mable (Zoey Deutch) is torn between getting away from Chicago and her relationship with Ritchie (Dylan O’Brien), son of the gangster boss. One night events turn unstable and Leonard must outwit the dangerous group of mobsters to survive, both himself and Mable.
There are so many elements that work together to create such a masterpiece. To begin, the plot is superb, tightly crafted to keep the audience guessing. Every detail foreshadows another element in the film. Even though you can guess that there is more to Leonard than meets the eye, the film threads those details throughout the movie, like breadcrumbs on a trail. Yet, the film still has surprises, subterfuge by various parties, and surprises to keep the audience on the edge of their seat.
All of the action takes place in the tailor shop but yet, that is plenty of space to create tension and intrigue. The film creates tension not just by violence but by subtle glances, the expression on an individual’s face, and by body language. The tension is slowly ramped up, not just by the events of the night or violent actions but also through dialogue and the slow unveiling of everyone’s motivations and actions.
The dialogue matches the intrigue, adding depth to the plot. The dialogue is full of lines that add subtle humor or increase tension. As the characters interact, the details of Leonard’s past and the truth about the mole in the family each are slowly revealed. The depths of his affection for Mable are unveiled and we discover through dialogue and action exactly why Leonard came to Chicago. In addition to superb dialogue, the cinematography and details of 1956 Chicago are perfectly designed.
The acting is some of the best I’ve seen but very much what I expected from Mark Rylance. He shows emotion with subtle expressiveness and body language. His portrayal is charming, full of both humor and depth. But his is not the only excellent performance. Zoey Deutch is supremely skilled, her ability to change expressions in a heartbeat necessary to build the intrigue in the story. Dylan O’Brien’s portrayal as the son of the boss has his character trying to prove himself in unexpected ways. Johnny Flynn as Francis, right-hand man to the boss, has plenty of surprises in his performance. As the bosses of the two biggest crime families in Chicago, Simon Russell Beale as Roy and Nikki Amuka-Bird as Violet add the element of danger as each vies against the other. With such a skilled cast, this film rises above, adding creativity and power to a familiar genre.
The plot, the acting, and the film are seamless, without flaws that I can find and even though it builds slowly, that shouldn’t deter viewers from this film. It is finely crafted, with subtle foreshadowing, beautiful performances, and details that tie together the plot and add depth to the film. The acting is beyond excellent with performances that could potentially win awards. As I stated, it is one of the best films I’ve seen not just this year but in the last few, and is full of intrigue, thrills and surprises.
Rating: 5 out of 5 shears.
Official Website: The Outfit Official Site | The Outfit Tickets + PVOD | The Outfit Trailer
From the Academy Award-winning writer of The Imitation Game (Graham Moore) comes THE OUTFIT, a gripping and masterful thriller in which an expert tailor (Academy Award winner Mark Rylance) must outwit a dangerous group of mobsters in order to survive a fateful night. THE OUTFIT opens in theaters here in the US and in Canada on Friday, March 18, 2022, and in Ireland and the UK on Friday, April 8, 2022.