Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dead Man's Shoes (2004, Shane Meadows)

"A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago."

I will admit that I didn't know anything about this movie. I just rented it because I always bumped into it while looking for something to rent and the DVD cover looked really cool. So, I couldn't find anything that interested me one night and just decided to take a chance and rent this film.

I was shocked to find out how unbelievably good this one is. I mean it's really,really,really good. I honestly can not find one single flaw with it. Sure, it might not be everyones cup of tea due to the directing style but anyone who has ever watched a film that doesn't rely on normal "Hollywood story telling techniques" will be quickly drawn to the film.

The movie in simple terms is a revenge tale. It's about a brother seeking revenge for the abuse his younger mentally challenged brother received from the local thugs. This is the very simple outline to the story but there is much more going on in this one. It's a very character driven and very inner film. It's also a film that has layers of depth going on. However it never shoves these layers of depth down your throat and instead leaves it up in the air for the audience to understand and "get" or to just ignore it and take it all as a simple revenge story.

While watching the movie I couldn't help but think that I was getting hints that the director was telling a very artistic story but I also felt that I was maybe over analyzing it all. Thanks to the power of DVD though I was able to see an interview with the director, who turns out to be one of the best British filmmakers out there right now, talking about the film and it does turn out that he did direct anything but a simple revenge story. I loved this film because of this.

I really did enjoy everything about this film, even the fact that I didn't enjoy it all because it's so brutal. The story and direction are solid and the acting from the whole cast is perfect and intense. The other thing worth pointing out is also the score and music selection which just works perfect. When I think back on the film there is nothing that I hated or anything that I felt was flawed. It's just a solid film all around and the ending is a great one that will leave the film in your mind for awhile.

It's just a great film and one that needs more attention.

- ***1/2

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