3 July 2010

"What are you, you milk bottle!?!"

44 Inch Chest - Malcolm Venville

The writers of Sexy Beast return with another look on life for older geezers, instead of the holiday getaway and crime, here we have, a more realistic turn of a man losing his wife and marriage and having an emotional breakdown. It has the witty dialogue, the common phrases, bundles of swear words and phrases that you’ll be repeating on a regular basis and has sequences that are from the mind of the lead character, Colin, played by the wonderfully broken Ray Winstone. His look of London gentleman on a holiday in Spain suits it well, and having a hard man like him, being in a history of films of being the “bruiser” you feel the emotion more, you feel the heartache and the breakdown. He may just sit down in a chair for most of it, but he does talk, it’s very intellectually and spiritually, giving real meaning to the film and creating a better bond between you and the character. It all takes place in a disused house in the middle of what seems like a rundown area of London. Only flashbacks change the scenery and at the beginning where the kidnapping takes place. The setting suits the action taking place, adding to Colin’s dismay.

The supporting cast here round up the film, not given an amazing amount of inspiring dialogue, but do it well enough to create different personas and have different effects on Colin. Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Dillane play Archie and Mal, two friends of Colin who seem to talk the most, helping him with his situation and calming him down. These two seem the most intelligent and down-to-earth. Then John Hurt plays Peanut, a fucking mad man who swears every line he has. He rips into Colin for turning into a mess, and he isn’t afraid to tell him. He seems the most outspoken, telling him to kill the man who cheated with his wife. And finally Meredith, played by Ian McShane, who brings the comic relief in how he is a gay gangster, which seems to irritate Peanut and upset him. The scenes with these two teasing each other are laugh out loud good, it’s a shame other parts are lacking.

The whole point of the film is about the true feelings of love and how a woman can damage another man very easily. It’s not seen in cinema that much, very rare, but here it’s affective. Colin’s wife cheated on him with another man, leading for her to leave him. So throughout the film, the man who did it is locked up in a wardrobe in the disused house, as they seem to talk and make a plan of what to do. It’s a small concept but works. It’s a shame that parts of the acting and dialogue let it down. It’s boring in parts, long winded, but it’s clever.


Simon Childs

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