Love, Murder & Revenge In Brighton

Love, Murder & Revenge In Brighton

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Optimum Releasing

Release date: February 4th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 111 minutes

Director: Rowan Joffe

Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Andy Serkis, Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough

BBC News, On This Day, 1964: Mods and Rockers Jailed After Seaside Riots

When it comes to movies, I’m not an easy man to please. I sift through an insane amount of films each week hoping to find something that will stay with me long after the show’s over.

I’m always looking for stories that make me feel a little bit more than my usual daily life allows. That’s the job I assign to film and what I expect it to deliver in return for my attention.

Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock, adapted from Graham Greene’s iconic 1939 novel, I’m happy to say, delivers. This time set during the Mods and Rockers era in 1964 where the story centres on Pinkie (Sam Riley), a young gangster who’s after a slice of life in a town that’s there for the taking by anyone who dares. He seduces and eventually marries the innocent and impressionable waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough) after she unknowingly ends up with a piece of evidence that could get him hanged. Rose’s boss, Ida (Helen Mirren) becomes worried that she’s getting into something she can’t handle, but when she sets her mind on sending Pinkie down for the crime he committed, it puts them all in more danger than before.

All of this plays out alongside the mounting tension of the real-life 1964 riots which broke out between rival gangs, the Mods and Rockers. As Rose gets drawn deeper and deeper into Pinkie’s world, the riots are nothing compared to the finale which quite literally left me gasping for air by the time Richard Hawley’s There’s a Storm a Comin’ starts playing as the credits roll.

Brighton Rock

To take one of the finest pieces of vintage British cinema and decide to remake it is a brave thing, but what Joffe has managed to create is nothing less than a masterpiece. Although it steps away from its original British Noir aesthetic, it emerges as something new, much darker and utterly heartbreaking to watch. The performances by Riley and Riseborough are powerful, yet understated; the show is completely theirs despite great support from Mirren and Hurt.

Suffice to say, I am truly in love with this movie, for its dark portrayal of a soulless young man and a woman desperate for love no matter the cost. Brighton Rock illustrates beautifully how life can turn up miracles even when you’re on the outside looking in and you know better. It will be there when I close my eyes, forever playing in the cinema of my mind.

Brighton Rock

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