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March 31, 2010 | by  | in Arts Film |
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Tom Hardy. What a man, what an actor. The man is a god. Honestly. Everything I have seen him in is solid gold. Range, depth, emotion and emotiveness. And Bronson really gets him to stretch through a lot. Because, frankly, a man who is famous for being Britain’s most violent prisoner doesn’t really grab me as a concept. But this movie manages to hold my attention from start to finish.

It opens with Bronson, played by Tom Hardy, addressing the camera and explaining that he always wanted to be famous, that he was destined for greater things and he always knew it. The movie then graphically portrays what he is good at. And let me tell you, there is more sexually inexplicit penis on screen than in Eastern Promises and Watchmen put together. Because when Bronson is in prison he fights naked. It’s never really explained why he does this. I would perhaps posit that it is in keeping with his Celtic ancestors who fought “sky-clad” as an intimidatory tactic, a sort of non-verbal “Fuck you, you don’t scare me.” Whatever the reason, Tom Hardy spends an inordinate amount of screen-time naked.

I feel that while this movie works on a number of levels, what with its juxtaposition of delicate music over violent acts and its examination of what fame means to us culturally as a people, the thing that I found most fascinating was the portrayal of unrepentant recidivism. Bronson never repents any of his actions. It is only his legacy that he is concerned with. From the start to the end of the movie it feels like almost nothing happens, because nothing changes for him. The walls differ but the cage remains the same. This is starting to sound like it would be boring, but it’s not. It is absorbing in its meditative focus on Bronson’s captivity.

Anyway, I could rant for pages about this movie because it really does peel back like an onion, but the bottom line is: Go see it. Masterful performances and fascinating film-making. Do it.

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Part of the World Cinema Showcase

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  1. Magonagal says:

    Watched this twice as an inflight movie between London and hong kong. Truly awesome if a bit sad. He (Bronson) never gets it that he’s being used by others. Fight scenes are very realistic and bloody scary.

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