Review: Brighton Rock (LFF Surprise Screening)

The Members Surprise Screening was actually the same, as everyone had said, to the Surprise Screening the previous night, and the film was Brighton Rock, the “re-evisioning” of the 1947 film which was an adaptation of the novel by Graham Greene. I should mention I have not read the book, or seen the ‘47 film, so my view on this film is purely based on itself. 

Going in, I was aware that the film the previous night was Brighton Rock, and was completely prepared to see it, even though most people on twitter had bad things to say about it. Having low expectations probably helped a little, because I didn’t think it was terrible, but it wasn’t nearly as good as it was trying to be. The only thing, really, that kept me going was Helen Mirren. Even though her hair was dyed a ridiculous color, I enjoyed watching her, and the scenes with her in it. Except, writer and director Rowan Joffe had to go and ruin it all with her final scene, the second to last scene of the movie. What was that? Completely ruined the whole mood off the ending. 

The movie really should have ended with Pinky (Sam Riley) on the beach. I would have thought a lot more of this movie if that is where they ended it. I know there’s the ending of the other movie and the book they had to think about, but if they going to “re-evision”, why not end it at a high point? Why drag it out further with scenes that change nothing? (think LOTR: Return of the King but on a smaller scale, and less extra scenes) At the very least, don’t add a little bit of humor- keep going with the drama, and go straight to Rose. The Helen Mirren/John Hurt scene was a massive mistake! 

The two main performances, Sam Riley as Pinky and Andrea Riseborough as Rose, were quite painful to watch. Riseborough was that slight bit better, but Riley was so dull. The dialogue was rather unexciting anyway, which I think was the point, and would have worked if delivered better, but he had no emotion what so ever. His face and voice were just blank. Even though he’s a “bad guy”, as the central character, the audience need to feel something for him to connect with the film. Maybe they were trying to dothat with his father figure being killed in the opening scene, but it did not come across that way. 

Had I not seen it for free, I probably would have been horribly pissed off by this movie, however the free ticket, and Helen Mirren kinda saved it. But I wouldn’t tell anyone to see this. That’d just be rude. 

Brighton Rock - Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough


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