Film Screening 5th October, 2011

Poster for Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock 

8:00 PM, 5th October, 2011

  • MA
  • 111 mins
  • 2010
  • Rowan Joffe
  • Rowan Joffe
  • Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren

Many years before “Underbelly” became a buzzword for Australian TV drama re-enactments of life in Melbourne and Sydney’s criminal underworlds, English novelist Graham Greene wrote “Brighton Rock”, a gritty portrayal of the life of a young teenage hoodlum named ‘Pinkie’. Set originally in 1939, between the First and Second World Wars, and first filmed in 1947 with Richard Attenborough in the lead role, this 2010 interpretation transplants the story to the 1960s, amidst the gangland wars between the British ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’.

The film serves as screenwriter Rowan Joffe’s first directorial effort and he’s aided by a talented cast made up of both up-and-comers and veterans. Sam Riley provides tension and menace in the central role of Pinkie, a desperate petty murderer and criminal gang leader who seduces an innocent waitress named Rose (Riseborough, another rising star) in an attempt to silence her after she happens upon incriminating evidence linking Pinkie and his gang to a revenge killing.

Helen Mirren and John Hurt add their considerable weight to the drama, playing friends of Rose who try to look after her. Phil Davis, a mainstay of Mike Leigh’s films, also provides his distinctive touch in a supporting role. All in all, a stylishly atmospheric and ominous re-interpretation of Greene’s novel.

John Rogers