By Isabella Brady
Timeless and cunning, The Outfit is a recent film about cutter, Leonard, or “English,” a Chicago “tailor,” located in the heart of a neighborhood overrun by the deadly grip of quarreling gangs: The Boyles and The LaFontaines. Unfolding purely within the humble walls of his business, Leonard employs his skills long ago cultivated in London on ‘the Row’ to manipulate fabric, and skillfully compliment the figure of each of his clients: primarily, the mafia.
However, while the Boyle family comfortably extorts his abode for the benefit of their illegal operation, Leonard is seemingly dragged into their affairs when Boyle’s son, “Richie,” is shot and forcefully brought into his care. However, the conflict is reduced to a tape, an alleged recording which would reveal the “rat” of the Boyle’s operation and the informant of LaFontaine’s insider intel.
With a riveting plot, The Outfit meticulously reveals truths about Leonard’s harrowing past as he protects himself and his secretary from the uneasy gaze of two scrutinizing gangs, and the police. Unpredictable, what may appear as an unsuspecting “tailor” narrates throughout the movie, making insightful connections and employing his hard learned lessons to engage in the fight for his life. Blurring the line between good and evil, The Outfit masterfully depicts the pain of moving forward from one’s past and the potential of every individual to “start again” and craft a life for themselves.
Simply said, The Outfit is the best movie I have seen this year. The movie feels so short, yet, you feel as though you’ve experienced a lifetime of plot by the end. Each scene expertly bleeds into the next with unrelenting tension and uncertainty, and you refrain from taking a breath until the final seconds of the movie. With an inadvertent and short lived mystery, the story imparts valuable lessons and twists that will leave your mind pensive for hours and even days after. With excellent acting, and a detailed storyline, I dare anyone interested to try and unravel the vivacious film for themselves.