Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Kiss Killed Pearl



Pearl, the sweet and touching hooker, killed herself. A gunshot to the head is almost always dispositive. After sustaining a heinous slash to the face with a resultant deforming scar, suicide for a whore, who had aspired to be an actress, is logical.

The interactions, sensitivities and feelings between Jimmy and Pearl were wonderfully done. For those, who don't yet follow Boardwalk Empire, Jimmy is a young, fledgling gangster, who was sent out of his native Atlantic City by Nucky Thompson.


Jimmy had made some errs in a botched liquor deal, putting him and derivatively Nucky in a tough spot. Jimmy, who had previously met the similarly aged Al Capone, stopped in Chicago to check things out. Soon after his arrival, he glommed onto Pearl. Although she was a prostitute, they struck up a relationship. It seemed real.

Pearl was slashed as a retaliation by a rival gang (of Capone's). She had the bad luck of making an appearance while Jimmy and his guys were negotiating with their rivals. Although not vociferated, Jimmy knew that Pearl was harmed as a result of knowing him. Jimmy is shown as caring for the bandaged, but still beautiful Emily Meade. He is kind and considerate. He even feeds her soup. The viewer can't help to feel that the "couple" have a chance. Silly!

Michael Pitt plays Jimmy. He is perfect in the key scene wherein Pearl asks Jimmy to kiss her. She is testing him. The lighting, the tone and her look all indicate she wants to be tender. But she knows that her hideous, not completely healed, facial scar tests her appeal. Pearl intuits that true love would not see the scar. Jimmy does kiss Pearl, but he misses her lips and hits her right cheek for an auntie peck. Oh my God. The bottom drops out of her.


A lip kiss ensues, more or less at her direction and need. But the passion and tenderness are gone. Pearl knows. About Jimmy and about her future. A hooker and actress with a deformed facial configuration has no market value. As Pearl recognizes Jimmy has lost his desire for her, she sends him out of the bed to clean his soiled shirt. As he rubs out the shirt in the bathroom lavie, POP. He rushes into the bedroom to see her, crumpled on the floor, with a generous pool of fake blood surrounding her.

Boardwalk Empire is set in 1920. Although Rudy Clark didn't intend for his 1964 song, It's in His Kiss (Shoop Shoop Song), to parallel a 2010 HBO series episode, it does. Betty Everett initially recorded Clark's song, but it has been covered by many others.


Here are the lyrics,

does he love me i want to know
how can i tell if he loves me so
is it in his eyes
oh no you'll be deceived
is it in his sighs
oh no he'll make believe
if you want to know if he loves you so
it's in his kiss
that's where it is

is it in his face
oh no that's just his charms
in his warm embrace
oh no that's just his arms
if you want to know if he loves you so
it's in his kiss
that's where it is
it's in his kiss
that's where it is

kiss him and squeeze him tight
find out what you want to know
if it's love, if it really is
it's there in his kiss

how about the way he acts
oh no that's not the way
and you're not list'nin' to all i say
if you wanna know if he loves you so
it's in his kiss
that's where it is
it's in his kiss
that's where it is

kiss him and squeeze him tight
find out what you want to know
if it's love, if it really is
it's there in his kiss

how about the way he acts
oh no that's not the way
and you're not list'nin' to all i say
if you wanna know if he loves you so
it's in his kiss
that's where it is

it's in his kiss
that's where it is

And a YouTube rendition, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4KN6TFhy2I

Somehow Jimmy is going to vindicate Pearl's tragedy. It just has to be. It just has to be. And so it goes.

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