Wednesday, 2 February 2011

[435] Brighton Rock (2011) Review

Grumble, grumble. You know, I like Andrea Riseborough, and I have fond memories of Sam Riley in Control, so let's hope Brighton Rock doesn't derail their careers. I tried to highlight some of the exhilaratingly bonkers parts of the film in the review, but the first comment accuses me of 'sticking the blade in'. Oops.

Here's a pull quote for you: Brighton Rock left me stunned. More so than any other film at the back end of 2010, it caused my jaw to drop. And I don't mean that in the positive sense.

Adapted from Graham Greene's source novel, and lagging 60-odd years behind the first film version, co-written by the author himself and starring Richard Attenborough, William Hartnell and Hermione Baddeley, this new take is the directorial debut of writer, Rowan Joffé. The result is one of those mind-bending, flabbergasting disasters that come along far too rarely.

Brighton Rock couldn't be based on a more melodramatic plot, as Pinkie (Sam Riley), a young, ambitious gangster, decides to marry Rose (Andrea Riseborough), a local waitress who happens to be a material witness to one of his murders. In order to keep her silent, he cons the girl with false romance, and in the process unearths all sorts of Catholic forms of guilt and sin.

However, while its predecessor had a starched, yet dignified quality, mixing stiff upper lip Britishness with its own spin on the then-contemporary style of urban film noir, Joffé's take doesn't dare toy with restraint, inflating the melodramatic elements to gigantic proportions.

Read the full article here.

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