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Soccer is without any doubt the most popular sport in Europe. The
supporters can be very fanatic and for some every excuse is good enough
to spend a lot of money on their favorite team. But it's also in this
stadiums that people from all classes come together and not everybody
is able to buy a ticket week after week because they are too poor.
Their love for a soccer club can sometimes get out of hand and that's
where this movie has found its inspiration.
It tells the story of two young boys who live in a rough neighborhood of the industrial city of Newcastle and who want to buy season tickets for their local football team Newcastle United. But because they don't have any money they will have to try anything to find some. They try to find some scrap metal which they can sell, but will also steal, try to rob a bank and do many other illegal stuff. But their actions don't go by unnoticed and soon they are caught by the justice department. Their dream of going to the football that season is over or isn't it...
The movie makers in the UK seem to prefer socially realistic dramas over other genres of movies (although costume dramas are popular as well) and I must say that I can appreciate that. It's that feeling of realism that keeps me interested time after time and when they add some very fine humor to it like they have done in this movie, I only like it more. There are people who will say that it is hard to like little criminals like the boys in this movie, but personally I don't have any problem with it. Fact is that there are indeed still a lot of impoverished areas in the industrial cities and why should these areas or the people that live there not be shown in a movie? Is it because that only disrupts some people's image of a perfect society? I don't know, but it isn't so that the movie glorifies the actions of the boys. It actually gives some biting social commentary on the broken families where they come from, the poverty which they live in,...
Even though I'm not a soccer fan I really had a good time watching this movie. That's why I would like to say that, even when you hate the game, you can still like the movie. Watch it for the biting criticism, the fine humor, the good acting by the boys,... and you'll notice that this movie is underrated by many. I give this movie a 7.5/10.
I saw this movie on a sort-of premiere thinking "this must be a crap flick", I didn't even know what the title means. But it actually turned out to be enjoyable, funny and heartbreaking little movie. All the performances were excellent, the script is good and the atmosphere is perfect for a British low class setting. If you have a chance, see it.
I cannot understand the numptees that have given a low rating to this
film - it's quite simply British film making at its best.
What really enhances this for me is the films raw honesty. There's no frills to this and it pictures lower class British life as it is - with a touch of humour too! The cast are (to me) unknown and Chris Beattie who plays the lead role is a cracking actor with a big future I hope.
A movie debut by Geordie legend, Alan Shearer, does not impact on tghe plot line or the viewer enjoyment either.
This is never going to be the best film you ever watch, but I emplore you to obtain a copy and enjoy what I think's a fantastic film!
Rougher and less stylised than Herman's previous features Brassed Off and
Little Voice, Purely Belter nevertheless contains elements fast becoming
trademark. Sharp comic dialogue sugaring a pill of biting social satire;
life for the post-Thatcher working class; and those little things that
life bearable, but end up cutting you off from life. In Brassed Off it was
Danny and his band, in Little Voice LV and her records, and for Gerry and
Sewell it's football.
Like Gerry, I am a passionate football fan who has only just been to her first match - Glentoran v. Liverpool in Belfast. A pre-season friendly, not even at Anfield. But when Robbie Fowler - my favourite player - scored, my primal yell of 'YESS!!' started at my feet and rushed through all my veins. It was wonderful. Herman captures that feeling even when the lads enter the despised ground of their enemies Sunderland.
In Brassed Off and Little Voice, Danny and LV break free of their obsessions into lives which are far from perfect, but real. But Gerry and Sewell don't. Maybe because they're so much younger: Danny can remember when the mine was thriving, LV remembers when her Dad was alive. Gerry and Sewell have only ever known this life. Only ever been waiting for Saturday to come.
Perhaps that makes this the darkest of the three films. Perhaps not. Purely Belter will thoroughly entertain you, and if you let it, it will make you really think.
Mark Herman's (2000) film, drawn from Jonathan Tullock's novel 'Season
Ticket', is set in Newcastle upon Tyne in the late '90s.
It weaves the tale of Gerry (Chris Beattie) and Sewell (Greg McLane) as they struggle to make sense of the deficiencies in their fractured lives and solve their insoluble problems, with football.
Within the framework of the close friendship between these two young men, we join them on a journey around Newcastle which can have only one ultimate destination - St James' Park, the home of the 'Toon', Newcastle United Football Club.
But the route is tortuous and led by the fertile imagination and determination of Gerry, Sewell and the rest of us are drawn along as we get to know the characters who populate their special world.
Gerry's semi-absent father (Tim Healy) terrorises the family between safe houses, beating his mother (Charlie Hardwick) and abusing his sister (Kerry Ann Christiansen) as he goes, while Sewell's grandfather (Roy Hudd) struggles to fill the gap left by his parents who have absconded long ago.
Yet, despite everything that confronts them, they unite together with a single, simple achievable aim in life - season tickets to watch Newcastle play.
This is a great film which - like Mark Herman's earlier films 'Brassed Off' and 'Little Voice' - contains the essential spirit of the region it reflects. What shines through is the indominatable spirit and irrepressible resilience of the young.
As the film closes a final unexpected twist places our two heroes exactly where they have wanted to be all along.
Our odd little "heros" don't want much. And they don't expect much. But
it seems that even that little bit is more than they are going to get
in life. Their bleak environment conspires against them at every turn.
How nice than that along the way of pushing the proverbial uphill,
their innocent simple kindness manages to let a little light into the
life of some of the more sympathetic of their fellow sufferers who are
also up against it.
There are exquisite, bleakly funny, little twists and turns, there is (pitch) black humour embedded in what are profoundly tragic circumstances. It meanders desperately and seemingly endlessly but just as one is about to murder the author for cruelty above and beyond what's acceptable even to fictional characters, some loose ends come together for those who don't blink at the crucial moment.
Everyone I saw walking out of the cinema was smiling, and that memory has stayed with me for the several years between now and then.
"You take after your granddad. No words, just dribble and puke." A
grandmother tells her teenage daughter's baby "Shearer". Mark Herman's
follow-up to his excellent Brassed Off and Little Voice, is a gritty slice
of contemporary Geordie life. This Four Film production introduces
Chris Beattie (looks like a miniature Shearer) as Gerry and Greg McLane as
unemployed Sewell. They're on a seemingly impossible mission to raise the
£1000 for season tickets to see their beloved Newcastle United. While they
think up increasingly outlandish money-making schemes - from selling
household junk to shoplifting and the odd bit of housebreaking - real life
begins to inferere. Gerry's violent and alcoholic father (Tim Healy of Auf
Wiedersehn fame putting in a memorable 'orrible performance) forces his
back into his
family's life. Like Herman's previous features, Purely Belter is laced
bittersweet comedy and some stunning dialogue ("No Alan [Shearer], not
Celine f***ing Dion"), but it somehow lacks the emotional cohesion.
Typically northern movie about a couple of working-class kids having fun and getting into scrapes while trying to save up for season tickets to the Toon, this has quite a few moments of hilarity and some of moving tragedy, was eclipsed by Billy Elliot at the cinemas but deserves some attention. The two leads are pretty reasonable for child actors and the story is kinda fun too, fans of yer Full Monty, Brassed Off, Gregory's Girl type thing should probably give it a chance.
It's not everyday that a movie moves you beyond words. As a football fan myself, I totally understood how important it was for those kids to have season tickets for Newcastle United. I could totally relate to the love they had for their club and the way they wanted to be respected. After all, that was all they ever wanted: respect. How to get it? Well, those are just boys with difficult lives. Their way to get respect was unorthodox, but how can I blame them? It has some funny moments, but this is mostly a sad story. Sure, this is not a feel-good movie. But why would it be? It is much better than that. And despite all the bitterness, I was left with a smile in my face and a lonely tear in my eye: those boys were happy and I was happy with them. Maybe the direction is too much predictable (after you see one Mark Herman movie, you pretty much saw all he has to offer as a director), but it has amazing characters and unpredictably amazing acting. I just love a movie that doesn't let me be indifferent to the story and the characters. This is such a movie. Totally recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Coming from the area and being a lifelong Newcastle United fan i was keen to see this film and how the area would be portrayed.
Of course, as in Billy Elliot the young stars come from broken poverty stricken homes with violent fathers- is this some sort of patern here? If a British film wants an upmarket feel, it`s London and the south east. If it wants poverty and gritty realism, they come north. Although based on a little known novel "the season ticket" much of it was changed to further stereotype the area. I dont go along with " but it puts Newcastle on the map" brigade- yes it puts it on the map but the wrong map as far as i`m concerned. Newcastle has so much more to offer than what is seen here- apart from the best football club in the world. Rant over, what about the film ?
It concerns the story of two young tearaways desperate to raise £1000 for a pair of season ticket for Newcastle United FC, and the lengths they go to get it. Along the way they encounter well meaning social workers, drunken violent fathers, sadistic teachers, runaway sisters ,fall in love and meet Englands best centre forward over the past 10 years in Alan Shearer.
While the two young leads give first rate performances, the story itself is a little hard to believe. Firstly most young kids in the the two leads predicament would have better things to spend £1000 on, especially if they were into thieving and drugs as portrayed here- you never really see these kind of people at the games as they have been priced out of the market( although not to the extent of £500 a season ticket- when the film was made my ticket cost £360). And with the skills these two show( come off it i doubt a Jaguar XK8 is that easy to nick) it would not have taken them more than a week to raise the cash.
There is also a goof at the end of the film - There are no tall residential buildings near the ground and the tower blocks behind the Gallowgate end of the ground have been superimposed onto the film. The tower blocks in Question are actually over a mile away, much further west and the ground is uphill from their position- making viewing impossible. Since the ground was redeveloped it is impossible to see the pitch from ANY nearby building.
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