Mike Figgis's remarkably understated first feature
concerns a young man named Brendan (Sean Bean)
who becomes involved in the seedy underworld politics of
small Newcastle, England.
Brendan takes a job at a local nightclub run by a man
named Finney (Sting), he also meets
Kate (Melanie Griffith), a cocktail
Both Finney and Kate are struggling with an
American business tycoon called Frank Cosmo (Tommy
Lee Jones), who is trying to develop Newcastle at
the expense of local businesses. Brendan's only
half-knowledgeable involvement, the role of coincidence in
shaping the ensuing action, the woman with a past--all the
elements of film noir are at play here, accompanied by
darkly lit streets and the reds and blues of nightclub neon.
Figgis indulges his taste for jazz as well; he scored
the film, and a jazz band even figures in the story. Bean
and Griffith are believably entwined, but the
standout in the cast is Sting, whose soulful
Englishness is perfectly counterpoised with Jones's
brash American bravado. In fact, STORMY MONDAY's
interest in English culture versus American culture is an
appropriate beginning for a director whose career would
continue on both sides of the Atlantic.