Brighton Rock, with Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt & Andy Serkis. This is an English film & has been called a masterpiece. I can see why.
This is a remake of a 1947 film under the same name, which takes place during the 1930′s. But this film’s setting is in 1964, Brighton England. Interactions focus on organized, criminal gang activity in Brighton; not as a documentary or as a statement of the activity, but as an action thriller.
Sam Riley is quite good. Originally a member of a minor gang of thugs, he “rises in action” throughout the film. Seemingly, his actions seem like cartwheels & whimsical but watch & see the calculations he uses. Yes, this is a character study & a very odd one. It seemed strange to me because I wasn’t expecting it & had no idea what his character was all about. This is a good thing.
The study doesn’t focus on Sam Riley’s character (Pinkie) alone. His co-star is a lovely, young English lady named Andrea Riseborough (I hope to see her again & again). Circumstances bring them together & the animal magnetism between the characters (as well as the actors) is certainly something to witness.
Of course, anything with Helen Mirren is bound to be fantastic. I caught a glimpse of an advert on TV originally, showing her stalking through a scene & I knew I had to find this film. I’ve followed her movies since first I saw 1981′s Excalibur. She’s always been the “slithering siren” in my book. Anything I could possibly say about her would fall short of the actual reality, of her talent.
Be warned. This is a violent film & quite shocking, in an English way.
John Hurt is a supporting character in the film & I would say his character (& presence as an actor) further lends nobility to Mirren’s part. When I see Hurt, I immediately flash back to that scene in Alien, where a baby alien pops out of his chest while he’s having conniptions on a dining table. I’ve always admired the movements he makes; elegant, yet threatening even when playing a benign character. His voice, while subtle, seems to cut like a knife.
The film makers make a believable early 1960′s England. The mod-rocker era in that country. Lots of vintage vehicles.
I must say, I was very impressed by the star, Sam Riley. I can immediately compare him to the leading men of English & American films of the 1940′s. In style & texture. Heroic & emotive.
Andy Serkis – is amazing (again) in the role of one of the film’s villains. His physical appearance seems to speak for itself in these matters. He just looks like a monster. I think this is by design & brilliance. He’s not an ugly or plain man, in appearance. (By the way; he was Gollum [voice] in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.)
I recommend this film for viewing. Especially for those of you that like British mystery & rogue productions. Imagine a rock rolling menacing from a hill top; faster & faster towards the bottom & disaster. That’s the feeling I had during this entire motion picture.
A good Saturday evening event!
The British excel in period films very, very well.
The English accents are not so thick & the dialogue can be comprehended easily. I know this is an issue with some English speakers when viewing British films. Don’t ask me why the Brits don’t take their accents into account when marketing, or hoping the world will just understand what they are actually saying.