Sunday, 14 February 2010

Tony - DVD - 14/2/10

Peter Ferdinando.

Peter Ferdinando.

Peter Ferdinando.

Peter Ferdinando.

If there is any justice in the world that is a name that you will hear more about in the future.

Playing Tony Benson, a sort of autistic Patrick Bateman, Ferdinando delivers a performance that is utterly convincing and absolutely terrifying. With a CV that so far includes bit parts in various British television dramas and one other film this is a breakthrough performance that is the equal of any of the best actor nominees this year and one that deserves to see Ferdinando become a major star.

Tony lives in Deptford, south London, which is handy because, as it sits on the banks of the Thames, he has a place where he can dispose of the body parts of the people he lures back to his flat, murders and then hacks into pieces.

There is nothing glossy about Tony. Unlike so many of the torture porn films of the past few years where murder is portrayed as entertainment and where the murderers are twisted geniuses with a neat line in torture devices Tony is the sort of unfortunate that you go out of your way to avoid sitting next to on the tube or the bus. He has glasses straight from a "Specsavers" ad and a moustache that wouldn't look out of place on a Graeme Souness tribute act. He is nervous, lonely, sad and, ultimately, psychotic.

There is a sense of fear, dread, discomfort and unease that runs from start to finish in this film. Each of Tonys victims is the sort of person who nobody would miss (smack addicts) or who you would find it difficult to find any sympathy for (a TV licence inspector). Tony on the other hand manages to elicit sympathy from you and while he is far from the "hero" of the film it's difficult to feel any loathing for him.

Drawing at times on films like "Taxi Driver" and, obviously, "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" this still manages to be very much its own film and remain original and fresh. Destined for cult status it shows that director/writer Gerard Johnson is one to watch along with his star Ferdinando.

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