Review: Brighton Rock (2011)

Brighton Rock is British drama thriller with a noir streak. It stars Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren and John Hurt. Brighton Rock is directed by Rowan Joffe in his directorial debut. It’s a remake of the 1947 film of the same name which starred Richard Attenborough.

The film is certainly better than what the majority of the reviews are saying. Sam Riley who plays the lead character, Pinkie Brown is well cast. But it doesn’t seem like he’s moved on acting wise since his debut, 2007′s Control which his portrayal of tortured song writer Ian Curtis was outstanding. He seems to play these dark characters well, he’s like the Michael Cera for gloomy and self loathing. Aside from this he does a job. I can’t really comment any further seeing as I haven’t seen the original for comparison.

Rose is the love interest in the film played by Andrea Riseborough. She plays a gullible naive girl who’s almost scared of her own shadow. She’s also senseless in the way she falls in love so easily with Pinkie but never realises that he feels absolutely nothing for her as he bares virtually no emotion. Riseborough is probably the best thing about the film, she acts well and I enjoyed her performance.

Brighton Rock is also a schmorgasboard of British actors/actresses. It’s main support cast are Helen Mirren and John Hurt. The rest of the English acting guild follows as Andy Serkis, Sean Harris, Philip Davis and Steve Evets. Now was there any need for all these? I don’t think so as it feels like a painful name drop. I feel out the list only Helen Mirren is justified but even then its up for debate.

The cinematography however is really good. Brian Tufano has captured Brighton beautifully and its iconic landmarks. I enjoyed more seeing as I only live twenty minutes away as well. This was also another factor for wanting to see this film. I do have a gripe with it though. The film’s background plot is the Mods & Rockers riots. While the actual riots are great set piece and shot well I almost felt cheated with them. It’s as if the film has taken specific scenes from the classic 1979 film Quadrophenia. It was an unwelcome distraction.

Overral I found the film alright. It started off really well but it kinda lost steam in the last 45 minutes. It also felt really long and did in my opinion have one the most awkward first kisses i’ve seen in a film but its worth a watch. It’s not a huge film so don’t expect it to stay in the big cinemas for too long.


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