Sunday, 17 January 2010

44 Inch Chest - Cineworld - 17/1/10

Colin Diamond is happily married to Liz. They've got it all. Nice house, two cars, a good business. Colins a bit of a geezer, sure, he's not exactly "legit" and he knows some unpleasant characters but he loves Liz. He's old fashioned, a family man, he understands how much hard work "love" is and what it takes to make a marriage work.

Liz doesn't love Colin. She's told him so. She's fallen out of love. More worryingly she's "found" someone else. Colin knows what that means; it means she's sleeping with another man. Liz wants out and Colin wants to know he is, who this "other" man is, who he is and where he is.

The other man is a French waiter. You couldn't make it up. A French waiter. All tight jeans and Gallic charm, garlic charm. Colin, understandably, isn't best pleased. Truth be told he is pissed off. He's hacked off. He's cross. He's angry. He's devastated and depressed.

Colin and his friends (Meredith, Mal, Peanut and Archie) take the French waiter from his French waitering (against his will it has to be said) and tie him up, lock him in a wardrobe then sit around and wait for Colin to kill him.

From the writers of "Sexy Beast" this is a film that will disappoint anyone who saw the trailer and thought they were going to get a "Lock Stock" gangster movie with "geezers and birds". What you get instead is a fabulously written piece of theatre. The language may be fruity but it's delivered with a rhythm and style that leaves you slack jawed in wonder. Taking the language of Cockney gangsters and twisting it in a post-modern take on Shakespeare is no mean feat.

As a film it isn't any great shakes but as a piece of writing and as a masterclass in acting it is superb. Everyone in this is terrific. Ray Winstone as the broken, battered, exhausted and confused Colin Diamond, Ian McShane as the sinister, gay, ganglord Meredith, Tom Wilkinson as the man living with his mum while living a life outside the law, John Hurt as "mad" Frankie Fraser made flesh on screen as Peanut and Stephen Dillane as wide boy Mal are all devastatingly good.

A difficult film to recommend because I didn't feel like I was watching a film...a dark, comedic, twisted gangster film about the nature of love and the things we will and won't do for it on the silver screen in the form of a stage play.


1 comment:

  1. Good film I thought, good performances from Ray Winstone (an old hero from Jimmy Grimble), Ian McShane and Ian Hurt was pretty good as well.

    I felt the idea was really clever and everything but it was really missing a start and an ending. There wasn't a lot of background on who these characters, although Colins' loss seems to be great we dont actually know how much he loved his wife, I mean he says it several times "I maybe loved her to much". But for me this is questionable. As he goes on with a terrible rage to actually beat his wife physically. I can understand that I'v never been in that position and hope not to be but if you love some one you dont really go around beating them up, very badly as well.

    And then when he plans revenge his friends appear who he does talk to but I was left how he actaully known these other men who plotted his revenge with him, but hey thats just me.

    The end was missing for me as well as theres just no real resolution, because if that was me id be wanting to get as far as possible away from the whole situation, sell the business and the house and the cars and go live in the bahamas or somewhere nice where you could perhaps be happy again. But that is just me again.

    The language in it was also pretty bad although most of the characters where meant to be crooks it was a little to far from a scripting point of view. When every second word is F**k and every first word was actaully C**t it does get slightly too far and it must of easily taken up three full pages of script with it.

    Overall though clever idea just had a few holes in it. Worth a watch to see Winstone play a broken man and Hurt as a crazy old man that will use profanity in any sentence even when hes talking about 'Samson' from the Bible. It did make me laugh though.