The Outfit is a tense chamber play that thrills over its entire runtime and keeps audiences at the edge of their seats. But at some parts, it wants too much from them.
After Graham Moore won an Oscar for writing the Screenplay for the highly acclaimed drama The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, it has been quiet around the young writer and director. He now is back with his tightly tailored and sharply written directorial debut, The Outfit, which he also co-wrote as well.
Read more in our review down below:
The Outfit Is Quite The Experience
The film follows Leonard (Mark Rylance) an owner of a tailor shop, even though he thinks of himself more as a cutter. He is always working alongside his receptionist Mable (Zoey Dutch) and loves nothing more than his craft. Whether he likes it or not his customers also include members of the Irish mafia, who uses his shop for getting new clothes, as well as for delivering mysterious packages. When one night a wounded member stumbles into his shop, his life will take a risky turn.
The film definitely is Moore’s baby, as as a co-writer and director a lot of the input comes from him. His screenplay is tightly written. It gives the audiences no time to breathe and slowly evolves its plot into exciting territory. It doesn’t waste its time, explaining too much and while there obviously could have been more characterization, The Outfit doesn’t need that. It relies on the cast performances, to make the audiences care and it perfectly works.
I really enjoyed how it worked with the different dynamics and how new characters or even the number of people in the room can change that. It makes for some exciting turns and it is fun for the audience to try to solve the situation alongside Mark Rylance’s Leonard or Englisch, which is what he gets called by the mobster intruders Richie (Dylan O’ Brien) and Francis (Johnny Flynn).
It comes to now surprise that the screenplay is a knockout, as Moore didn’t win the Oscar for nothing, but the film definitely would have benefited from a more experienced director. With a chamber play there are always limited options, for what one can do, but The Outfit doesn’t succeed on that front. Visually uninteresting and standard angles aren’t a hurdle for the film, but hold it down a bit. For his debut, there certainly is a lot of potential at display, but momentarily Graham Moore succeeds more as a writer rather than a director.
But there are parts in which the screenplay wants too much. This only happens when the film explores Leonard’s backstory, which gets more and more revealed over time, but with every new reveal I liked it less and less. I would have preferred the character to keep his backstory limited and simple, as it felt too much in the end and kind of damages the audiences’ expectation that they come to get and the characteristics they can identify themselves with, as they try to solve Leonard’s situation alongside him.
The cast does a really great job. Mark Rylance is as charming and witty as ever and to see Dylan O’ Brien curse in an Irish accent is also something you can only describe as fun. Johnny Flynn has an intimidating screen presence and Zoey Dutch gets to have the cool one liner. The actors play of each other very well, with the highlight being the chemistry between O’ Brien and Flynn. Their dynamic really gives the audience the impression, that their character have had a history way longer than what the film shows.
The Outfit is a gripping and thrilling chamber play, that will keep the audiences in the edge of their seats. Co-writer and director Graham Moore crafted an elegant, but improvable thriller, that is more than worth a watch.
The Outfit is now playing in theatres.
The Outfit is written by Jonathan McClain and Graham Moore, as well as directed by the latter. It stars: Mark Rylance, Zoey Dutch, Dylan O’ Brien, Johnny Flynn, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Alan Mehdizadeh and Simon Russell Beale.
What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch it? Have you seen it already, if so how did you like it? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Social Media.