Leon The Professional

What do Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and my Sunday night movie pick have in common? Well, to start from the beginning, Lisbeth Salander is such a powerful character she has become hot topic at work. We have discussed everything about her; from her quirky tattoos and odd personality, to her incredible abilities –between you and me, I don’t think she would like the fact that people discuss her this much, Lisbeth is extremely private-. Is only natural that we would discuss who should play her character in the upcoming Hollywood version of TGWTDT.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I think Natalie Portman fits the part just fine, if not for her good looks. Although, my co-worker thinks it is easier to make someone less pretty than to make then more pretty, but I do not completely agree on that. Putting that aside, Natalie is a good candidate, the girl can act, and the main reason; she has played Lisbeth before.

– She says to him: “I finish growing up, Leon. I just get older.” He replies: “For me is the opposite, I’m old enough. I need time to grow up.”

My pick for tonight is; Leon The Professional.

Leon The Professional is an extraordinary action thriller film, written and directed by Luc Besson. It was first release in 1994. With a wonderful story of love and trust, and the incredible performances by Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and our girl Natalie to back it up; Leon The Professional is a one of a kind film.

When I watch the film I was barely a teenager not much older than Mathilda (Natalie Portman’s character) I liked the film. Later, when I watched it again at an older age, I kept getting the same feeling about it. I liked the film because to me, it was beautiful the way Leon wanted to protect Mathilda so much, like a father, even when she was a stranger to him. However, this all have changed since recently I watched –and I hate to say this, because I don’t want to sound obsess- a Korean drama, Who are You? and got a totally different perspective of the relationship between the peculiar duo.

In Who are You? The lead characters are in love but the man is reluctant to go further with the relationship because of the considerable difference in age between the two. He is later convinced to let go of his prejudice by the young girl (the object of his affection) who compares their love as theirs being the same to the love between Leon and Mathilda. That theory definitely got me thinking. I started looking at Leon and Mathilda in a completely new light. Luckily for me, I have the extended version, and after watching it tonight, I have come to a conclusion; it definitely has all the clear implications of a romantic love between the two leads.

Who has not seen Leon The Professional? I hardly think someone hasn’t, but I still must warned you of spoilers!

The story of Leon is a sad but wonderful story of love. Leon is the best hit-man in New York; Mathilda is Leon’s troubled kid neighbor. After her family is killed by a bunch of corrupted cops, afraid she will be killed too,  Mathilda knocks on Leon’s door pretending to live there, and asks him to please let her in. Leon is clearly reluctant to let her in the apartment, but eventually opens the door for the frighten Mathilda. Later, when she learns of Leon’s prefession, Mathilda asks him to please kill the men who killed her family. Leon is surprised at her request, since it was not a secret that her family didn’t treat her well, and was constantly subject of abuse by her sister and even her father. Mathilda answers him she does not care for  her father or sister, but her little brother was only four and he didn’t have to be killed so cruelly. Leon says no, even if she pays him. “Then, teach me how to clean” she asks him, convinced that she can carried out the job. To this too, Leon says no at first, but eventually gives in to her pleads.

You see, Leon is a loner. He lives in a rundown apartment in Little Italy, with only a plant to keep him company. His life is in order; he cleans for a living, and gets enough money to live by. He doesn’t need anything else. Then enters Mathilda, a cheerful girl despite her sad and traumatized past. Little by little, she wins over his heart, giving him a reason to live for. Now he is not alone anymore, now he has someone to protect; even at the cost of his own life.


First- Even when their age difference is huge, Leon’s level of maturity is in par with Mathilda’s. He is like a sixteen-year-old trap in the body of a man. Mathilda, in the other hand, although she is twelve, has the maturity of a sixteen-year-old girl more or less.

Second- Leon can be seen as the knight in shining armor, and Mathilda as the damsel in distress.

Third- Never did Leon refused Mathilda’s love with a clear reasonable answer. He would only say he wouldn’t be a good lover, since his past love experience was a tragic one.

Finally- Their love is not corrupted by knowledge. It is an innocent and pure love. Like the love between two adolescents.

I know its hard to think about it this way (at least for me) because words like; pervert, and pedophile, keep popping in my head. Nevertheless, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am, it is so. And to be honest, I don’t disapprove, Mathilda will eventually grow older one day; instead, I was rather sad it ended like it did.

Now, back to my much adored Lisbeth; I can still give a few more reasons for why I think they have so much in common; for one thing, Mikael is in his 40s while Lisbeth is in her 20s… you see a considerable difference in age? Yep! Another thing I noticed is the similarities between Mathilda and Lisbeth physical appearance. Although Lisbeth is much older, her small and skinny body is no different from the body of a teenage girl, and I mean, a very young teenage girl. I have found a new Mathilda in Lisbeth. One much older, but unquestionably, as tough and bad-ass as ever.

Other Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) related posts:

“It” is The Dragon Tattoo, Not Twilight


4 thoughts on “Leon The Professional

  1. The Professional is one of my favorite films. I always saw their interactons and their relationship as a very interesting dynamic—and I think you broke down word-for-word what I think about their relationship.

    • WOW, thank you for that great compliment! I’m pretty sure some others think the same way though. In fact, like I said on the post, a korean drama put the idea on my head. So we can’t say its all my credit.
      Thank you for your comment and words of encouragement. 🙂

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