Powell's Higher Power
Senator Nick Rast (David Hemmings) is a busy man with his political career coming first and foremost in his life. Maybe he has thrown himself in to politics as his wife Sandra (Carmen Duncan) has devoted her time to caring for their son who has leukaemia and so despite living in the same house lead separate lives. Enter Gregory Wolfe (Robert Powell) a clown who performs at young Alex Rast's birthday party and who comes back and somehow rids the boy of his illness. All of a sudden Wolfe becomes a major part of the Rast house as he seems to exhibit some sort of control over everyone including Nick something which political advisor Doc Wheelan (Broderick Crawford) is unhappy about and so has his staff try to discredit him in order to get rid of him.
There are many types of people in this world and when it comes to movie reviewing you have to decide whether or not you're reviewing for those with a deep passion and knowledge of cinema or those with a more general interest who are looking to be entertained. I mention this as I write for the general movie fan looking to be entertained by what they watch rather than to over analyse and to see what the movie's influences are. I mention that because many of the reviews I skimmed over looking for information on "Harlequin" which is also known as "Dark Forces" focused on its influences, what movies it was like and had drawn on which in some cases went over my head in the movies they referenced. So for general movie lovers "Harlequin" is a strange movie from the 80s a cross over of political and paranormal which thanks to Robert Powell keeps you watching.
So what happens in "Harlequin"? Well let me just say you will be wondering exactly what is going on for a lot of the movie as we have a whole array of things. We have politics with Doc Wheelan wanting to be the one in control of Rast, we have the mysterious Wolfe who appears from nowhere and has strange super natural abilities and this charisma which appears to put people under his spell, we also have a struggling marriage and a few other things. As you watch and try and make sense of what is going on you can't be sure and it is only towards the end that suddenly it starts to make some sort of sense. It does mate it at times a bit hard going but yet it keeps you watching because it is curious.
But as I mentioned the key to "Harlequin" is Robert Powell who creates this stunning character in Wolfe. From the sympathetic clown, the ominous intruder, the handsome dinner guest with black nail polish he is an extremely curious and charismatic character who seems in control of everything and completely unfazed. It is such a wonderful performance that even when you think what is going on is a lot of nonsense keeps you involved almost hypnotised by his strangeness.
What this all boils down to is that "Harlequin" is entertaining but in the fact it is a curious movie and it is that side along with the performance from Robert Powell which keeps you watching not so much for what actually happens.