A jealous husband and his friends plot the kidnapping of his wife's lover with the intention of restoring his wounded ego.
Release Year: 2009
Rating: 5.8/10 (3,330 voted)
Critic's Score: 47/100
Stars: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt
Storyline Colin is in agony, shattered by his wife's infidelity. However, he has friends who do more than stand by -- they kidnap the wife's French lover and hold him prisoner so that Colin can restore his manhood with revenge. A kangaroo court takes place and as the situation escalates Loverboy's life hangs in the balance as Colin wrestles with revenge, remorse, grief and self pity, all the while egged on by his motley crew of friends who just want him to get on with it so they can get down the pub.
Writers: Louis Mellis, David Scinto
Cast: Ray Winstone
Old Man Peanut
Andy de la Tour
Boy on Sofa
Filming Locations: Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Opening Weekend: £152,171
(17 January 2010)
(17 January 2010)
Did You Know?
The word 'fuck' is used 162 times.
[cutting huge lines of cocaine]
I like a line the size of a Tobleroné.
A Pinteresque exploration, beautifully written, acted and directed
While agreeing with the first reviewer that the plot could be
summarised in the two words "nothing happens", very much the same thing
could be said of "Waiting for Godot" and half the plays of Pinter.
Indeed the style of dialogue is very reminiscent of Pinter, with the
five main characters each portraying an archetypical personality type.
The main point of the film is that the five characters are operating in
a moral vacuum, and having to make their own decisions without
influence from the law of the land or any other moral compass.
It would seem that the Law is simply non existent in their world - they
kidnap into a van in broad daylight in front of many witnesses without
disguising the number plate, and they finally let their victim go
having inflicted on him an ordeal which would earn them each a long
prison sentence with only the slightest word from John Hurt's character
that they don't want to hear any more about it.
No, the whole point is that they, like the characters in Lord of the
Flies, have to work it out for themselves.
And this freedom allows them the range to each demonstrate their
character with the finest of English acting. Some of their characters
are rather hackneyed, like Tom Wilkinson's who moves seamlessly from
discussing with his mother about her favourite TV show into being a
heartless thug, in a manner reminiscent of the second scene of Pulp
Fiction, but the John Hurt character is beautifully drawn, by script
writer, actor and director alike.
John Hurt plays an elderly man who clearly fancied himself as a
ruthless thug in his younger days, and defines himself by his
association with a psychopath gang leader. He is now treated with
amused but slightly wary contempt by his friends, but is still
determined to show his teeth by egging the Ray Winstone character into
terrible and sadistic acts of revenge. The irony is that, in one of
Winstone's psychotic daydreams, when given the opportunity to offer
violence himself, his dentures fall out and he backs off, showing him
for the toothless windbag he is.
The other major archetype is a louche gambler and homosexual predator
played beautifully by Ian McShane. In a scene reminiscent of "The Dice
Man" he agrees that life and death decisions are too hard for an
individual to take, and accordingly persuades Ray Winstone that the
decision between flaying alive and release should be taken on the toss
of a coin.
The two main protagonists of the film are Ray Winstone, whose drink,
shock and schizophrenia induced ramblings form the backbone of the
script and Melvil Poupaud who never says a word and barely moves a
muscle throughout the film. However, among a group of psychopaths, it
is he, playing the kidnapped French waiter, who is the only one that
the audience can relate to, and it is a tribute to Director Malcolm
Venville that we know exactly what is going through his mind, despite
his almost complete lack of expression.
This is a film about the struggle between revenge, blood lust and evil
on the one hand and justice, decency and humanity on the other. It is
about a man working through a psychosis and returning to rational
thought. It is about how people can reach their own moral selves
without influence from Church, Law or Society.
It is far from an action film, and if you want simple plot this is not
the film for you, but it is a beautifully crafted set piece delivered
by a very fine set of actors, performing a fine script and under subtle
but powerful direction.