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44 inch chest - The Ex-Communicator

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January 19th, 2010

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10:21 pm - 44 inch chest
A British gangster film by the makers of Sexy Beast. It is on a very small scale, like a one-act stage play. It's mostly set in one room in a horrible derelict house. Ray Winstone is a jealous husband, and psycho gangster. The boy his wife has run off with is tied to a chair, and he's deciding whether to kill him. He has drunk so much that he's hallucinating.

In support are a Greek chorus of maladjusted hard men: John Hurt, Ian McShane, Tom Wilkinson and Ian Dillane. What a cast eh? What a cast.

This is a philosophical gangster film, like The Hit or In Bruges, but it isn't really awesome like they are. It's very short, contained, and it gestures towards ideas rather than explicating them. Obviously the acting is excellent, but stagey rather than filmy, and the writing too. The characters are well done, they seem whole real people, and a bunch of uneducated emotionally stunted toughs.

I suppose compared to most films of this kind there isn't a sympathetic character, except possibly the blank cypher of the silent, bound, young man. That means it's hard for it to go anywhere much. It's perhaps a film made for people like me who like the genre, want another one in the same vein. I was glad I went to see it, but it's not a must-see like Sexy Beast.

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