Thursday, 19 March 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 19th March
Stephen Porritt - 86
Dan Brusca - 60
Kezra Shakir - 19
Shakir was gorgeous... *mental note to self* - doing Countdown while eating beef sandwiches isn't very effective.

Bronson - the life of Charles Bronson, Britain's most notorious prisoner, who has spent 34 years in prison, 30 of which in solitary due to his violent nature. It's important to make it clear what this film isn't. It's not a conventional biopic, nor is it a narrative drama in the usual sense. Those expecting a Guy Ritchie-esque portrayal of Bronson as some kind of lovable geezer will be disappointed.

The film focuses on various 'highlights' from Bronson's life, tied together with Bronson (Tom Hardy) both narrating directly to camera or, in dinner jacket and Joker-esque facepaint, on stage addressing a theatre audience. The latter is a curious but interesting device which plays to Bronson's self-image as the entertainer, ringmaster and master of ceremonies in his own world.

Essentially this is an arthouse film, both in its unconventional approach to the biopic genre and in it's production. Larry Smith's photography is stunning, as befits a cinematographer who learnt his trade under Stanley Kubrick. The use of music is terrific, with scenes either elevated to cinematic ballet through the use of classical music, or given an edge with skittish electro.

At the centre of proceedings is Tom Hardy as Bronson. His performance is nothing short of sensational. Powerful, brooding, occasionally humorous and often just downright scary, he dominates virtually every frame of the film. It's a tribute to both Hardy and director Nicholas Winding Refn that while the audience is placed in Bronson's corner, the film doesn't glorify him. We're left in no doubt that Bronson is a brutal thug, not an antihero to the masses - 5/5

1 comment:

coffee maker said...

judging by the previews, it looks like Tom Hardy does an awesome job as Bronson