Leon: The Professional is the story of two people who find each other in the most unpleasant events. Leon is a a professional hitman who lives in seclusion and values routine. He is also neighbors with Mathilda, a cigarette-smoking 12-year old whose family life isn't what it's supposed to be. Things take for a turn when her family gets murdered and their lives changed when Leon decided to intervene and take in Mathilda. She then decides to become a hitman herself, vowing to take revenge on the person who murdered her family.
The film is divided into two parts: the development of their relationship, and the revenge plot against Norman Stansfield. While the latter certainly contains all the action, the film lingers on the former, allowing the viewer to see the gradual change of Leon's demeanor and the descend of Mathilda into a darker world. Both characters are given their own set of issues to deal with - Leon having to 'adopt' a child in his routine and controlled lifestyle, and Mathilda seeing Leon as a role model. They have great scenes together, and their feelings towards one another, as well as the awkward moments of it all translate well on-screen. Their interactions seem very genuine even when both characters are coming from different parts of a spectrum.
The cinematography work was fantastic, the framing of the characters were on point. The writing was also good, though there were some plot holes here and there, but it doesn't deter the general atmosphere of the film. This is definitely one of Portman's better roles, as she was able to give range with her performance.
Final Word: Possibly the best Luc Besson film there is. It's thrilling, endearing and entertaining.
Cast: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman
Director: Luc Besson