THE CRAFTSMAN'S STRUGGLE
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Michael Mann has a fascination with the uncommon folks. His films, Collateral, Heat, and Thief focus on men who are obsessed with their craft to a fault. In Heat, both supercop and master thief can barely hold their personal lives together, in Collateral the highly trained, lethal assassin lacks compassion and empathy, and in Thief, the maestro crook just wants an ordinary life but can't because of the danger that comes with his profession. Their lives do not usually end (SPOILER) in happy endings and I'm wondering what the psychology is here for the characters. Does Neil in Heat feel he made a mistake in falling in love with Eady? Or does he feel as if he should've have picked another profession that would have made falling in love easier? I'm not sure, but there seems to be a message here about the double edge sword that comes with being an expert at a chosen craft. And that is why Mann's fascination with this outliers is so interesting: it shows what these stoic anti-heroes have had to sacrifice in order to be craftsman of the highest level.