4 items from 2016
This is the Pure Movies review of The Violators, directed by Helen Walsh, and starring Lauren McQueen (The Mill, Ordinary Lies) and Brogan Ellis (Waterloo Road) alongside Stephen Lord (Penny Dreadful, Shameless, Route Irish), Liam Ainsworth (Kajaki), Derek Barr (Pride) and newcomer Callum King Chadwick. The Violators is a wounding look at a young woman’s navigation through life whilst encountering dangerous men at every corner, chipping away at her hardened exterior. Bestselling author Helen Walsh (The Lemon Grove) has translated her interest in transgressive sexualities, gender and class onto film. With a female writer and director, and starring two female protagonists, The Violators is significant in a time where there is a perceived dearth of women film directors. The events of the story are shocking but the waves this film will make in terms of disturbing the male-dominated status quo of cinema will be more deeply felt. »
- Helen Chapman
You come from the world of Scandinavian crime television, which is quite beloved here in the UK. Were there any major differences between UK TV and Scandinavian TV? Any particular challenges at all?
There weren’t many differences actually. I thought it would be quite a different experience, but it was very similar to the ones I’ve had in Sweden – especially when it comes to what I do, the script process was very similar, with the different drafts etc. At a certain point the broadcaster comes in and starts giving us notes, then production is coming in, giving you notes, then meeting the actors… It’s all very much the same, I have to say. I think what was different was that the production itself was on a much bigger scale here in »
- Kat Kourbeti
Novelist Helen Walsh’s film about a teenager rehoused after an abuse case is well-acted and forthright, if a little contrived
Novelist Helen Walsh makes an interesting debut as a writer-director with this atmospheric piece of lo-fi British social realism. It’s flawed by a slightly unconvincing and anticlimactic gun-related ending, but well acted, forthright and confident in the universe it creates. The action is moored to a triangle of dysfunction: teenage Shelly (Lauren McQueen) has been rehoused by social services after an abuse case and comes into contact with a menacing, manipulative pawnshop owner and loan shark, Mikey (Stephen Lord). He appears also to have some kind of relationship with Rachel (Brogan Ellis) and this now discarded young woman – from an upscale part of town – forms a strange, parasitic friendship with Shelly. The news that Shelly’s scary dad is coming up for parole smothers the whole movie with fear and jumpy paranoia. It’s a movie of watching and being watched. Rachel gets Shelly to do a runner from a restaurant, but it isn’t until later, when we appreciate how the waitress in that scene fits in to the larger picture, that we discern a pattern of resentment and revenge. That pattern is a little contrived, but it doesn’t stop this film ticking radioactively with unease.
Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Violators, 2015.
Directed by Helen Walsh.
A dysfunctional girl becomes tangled in a series of events after becoming involved with a local womanising hard-man in the poverty-stricken suburbs of Birkenhead.
Helen Walsh is no stranger to the urban dystopia in and around the areas of Liverpool. Two of her novels (Once Upon a Time in England and Brass) use the same setting; The Violators represents her directorial debut and the first attempt to translate the environment to the big screen from paper.
The Violators centres on Shelly (Lauren McQueen), a dysfunctional yet caring sister to a younger and older brother. The haphazard family of three are surviving on the bread line in a typical council estate on the outskirts of Liverpool.
Shelly carries an air of disillusionment and absentness throughout the film, withdrawn from her environment, she and her brothers are living in fear of their Father who is in prison and is set to be released.
We are given a glimpse into the urban dystopia of Shelly’s environment, in what feels like a regression to the late 90’s era of Chav culture. The area is clearly deprived and this gritty habitat is wonderfully captured by Walsh is some scenes that revel in cinematic delight.
The Violators springs to life when Shelly and Rachel (Brogan Ellis) meet. Both are from contrasting backgrounds but share the same appetite for excitement and form an unlikely bond due to their lack of companionship and interest in the manipulative wheeler dealer hard-man Mikey (Stephen Lord).
What begins as charming soon becomes disastrous. Shelly becomes involved with Mikey, who offers his protection from the release of her father in exchange for sex.
As the film draws to a close the audience is left with a feeling a desperation that shapes Shelly’s inner-core… the desperation to seek a better life for herself and her brothers, the desperation to be happy and the desperation for normality.
The Violators is an attempt at trying to capture the bland, British dystopia like Richard Ayoade’s Submarine or John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary. Unfortunately the script is incomparable to both and the audience is left with a stereotypical interpretation of Britain’s Asbo class that is out-dated. There were moments of cinematic delight and Lauren McQueen’s performance oozed potential and promise.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
4 items from 2016
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners