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The new flatmate of three preexisting roommates turns up mysteriously dead but in possession of a large sum of money. When the roommates decide to keep it for themselves, their action sets in motion a destructive chain of events that spiral out of control. Written by
See, there's these three little piggies (Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox and Christopher Eccleston) who live together as flatmates in Glasgow. The one thing that ties them together more than the genial contempt they have for one another, is the DOUBLE amount of contempt they have for everyone else. To take in extra rent money, they decide to let a spare room in their place. After having a lot of fun at the expense of many 'unsuitable' candidates, they decide to award the spot to a very dodgy looking character named Hugo, (Keith Allen), who has a shady demeanor and a rather large suitcase.
This situation is ripe for betrayal, deceit, coercion and oh, let's not leave out murder, shall we? It's dynamite with an unlit fuse, just missing a match. And that 'match' is finally struck when the three roommates find a nude Hugo dead the next morning in his room, and that in his mysterious suitcase is more cash than the three of them combined will make in a year.
Anybody hear a sizzling noise in the background? That's nothing. The explosion is coming, and it is a DOOZY! Director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge certainly know their noir thrillers, and they skilfully weave the strands of this twisted story together like a Hitchcock chamber piece, filtered through the gimlet-eyed gaze of the Coen Brothers. With a Glaswegan accent, of course.
The acting is top notch, especially Ewan in his first major movie role. The realistic outcome of each nerve-wracking situation ratchets up the suspense and the tension without a single false note, as the 'straw' friendships of these three not-so-likable characters goes up in a puff of spontaneous combustion...all for, as the O'Jays put it so aptly, "the love of money."
And speaking of classic songs, a great director knows how to infuse a scene with just the right touch of irony, comedy or even downright horror, such as what Quentin Tarantino did with the confectionery pop standard from Stealer's Wheel, "Stuck In The Middle With You." I could tell from the word 'go' that Danny Boyle would be one artist to watch, just through the way he took a gooey retro classic like Andy Williams' "Happy Heart," and infused it with chillingly fitting gallows humor for GRAVE'S jaw-dropping ending, that will stay with you long after you've seen it...even after the second or third time! No matter how many times I watch it, it still hits me like a ton of...well, you know...
Highly recommended, with great scoring work from artists like Simon Boswell, Leftfield and Tomandandy.
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