Mitchell (Farrell) is released from prison and finds himself quickly in trouble again getting involved with gangster Gant (Winstone) even though he does not see himself as a gangster. While this is going on he ends up falling in love with a young actress Charlotte (Knightley), who he has a job protecting from the press. I was very much looking forward to seeing this film as British gangster films are usually good to watch, this one however is lacking something.
The something that it is lacking has to be a more concrete storyline, as it is rather vague in the sense that while we are told little parts of the characters backgrounds we are not actually given full stories. We do not find out exactly what happened to Mitchell putting him in prison for GBH and how Billy really affected it. We don’t find out the full story of what happened to Charlotte when she was in Italy or what caused the breakdown in her marriage. I would guess Gant has layers and a story as well, especially the stories he tells his victims before killing them.
I really did want to like this film, I wanted to like it a lot. I wanted it to be another “In Bruges” but it just really wasn’t. I think because I am such a fan of Farrell and Winstone I expected too much from this film. I did enjoy their scenes together as everyone knows Winstone is “the daddy” of all gangsters and no one should mess with him, well not this time Farrell stands up to him and it does make for a couple of very good scenes.
I found the crime of the footballer to be very appropriate with what has happened with knife crime in young London footballers over the past few years to be a very good edition to the film. Adding something of realism into the streets of London. As quite a lot of stories have made it into the press about what footballers get up to if they fall into gangs.
The most random character (and performance) had to come from David Thewlis as Jordan who just seemed to be constantly high! If my memory is correct we don’t actually find out why he is living with Charlotte or how he even come to know her. He was an actor as well, but that’s pretty much all we’re given.
Keira Knightley as Charlotte a young actress who is struggling with the press attention after she decided to quite working in the film industry. I couldn’t help wonder how much of that was acting or if she was in parts just being herself. It cannot be easy to have that much attention from such a young age. Reminded me a little of Julia Roberts in Notting Hill. Are they trying to tell us through film that the press is really bad in England/UK when it comes to celebrities? and that LA is a better place to be? It seems that way!
Overall, I did find this film watchable but very disappointing considering the exception I had for it. My advice would be go in not expecting a lot you would probably enjoy it more!