The Narrows

I got this dvd about a month ago but was only able to settle down to watch it this Saturday night. And considering the fact that I started watching it at 2 am and couldn’t stop watching it until the movie was complete tells you that it’s worth watching. The Narrows is movie is based on Tim McLoughlin’s novel “Heart of the Old Country“, which sees Mike Manadoro (Kevin Zegers), a 19 year old Brooklyn boy who is torn between two worlds. He wants to move into the more glamourous life of upper Manhattan. When Mike’s photography portfolio wins him a partial scholarship to NYU, he must figure out how to balance his tight-knit Italian neighborhood roots in Bay Ridge with the opportunity to emerge into the expansive, sophisticated world on the other side of the East River. The problem is that he doesn’t even have the money to pay for the other half of the photography major that he won the partial scholarship for.

Mike works for a car rental service, whose owner Big Lou (Tony Cucci) is the brother of Tony (Titus Welliver), a local mob boss. Mike’s dad Vinny (played excellently by Vincent D’Onofrio) is a former sanitary worker who, after an accident, now works for Tony, does not approve of Mike hanging out with the mob. But Tony offers Mike a route to deliver some goods from an Ethiopian smuggler to a Jewish group and thereby earns enough to set him up at NYU. Mike not only has to balance work with his academic assignments, he has to manage his personal relationships as well. This includes his attraction to a beautiful, cool, intellectual young woman, Kathy Popovich (Sophia Bush) he meets at NYU with his responsibility to his long term girlfriend Gina (Monica Keena) from the neighborhood he’s promised to marry.

Along the way joins Nicky Shades, (brilliant casting Eddie Cahill here) a druggie former soldier who’s just recently returned from a sting in the Middle East. Mike admires Nicky, who was also the local football hero to the neighbour hood kids, and gets him with a job with the mob. When things go wrong and Big Lou tries to steal some of the smuggled goods, Nicky is killed and a shaken Mike is treated for his injuries by his father. The goods are diamonds which can make a tidy fortune for the one who sells it.

After all the mess & Tony having his own brother killed for double crossing him, Vinny makes Mike leave Brooklyn with some of the diamonds and tells him to leave his mob days behind him if he wants to live a long life. Vinny covers for him and also shows him that he was faking his leg injury so he could take the easy route. Mike persuades Kathy to leave with him at the end of the movie as we see a reluctant Kathy deciding to take a chance with him.

Good movie, worth watching and I give it a 7 out of 10.  Good casting for a low budget independent film. Go watch The Narrows.

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