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Pete has recently got a new job as a vacuum cleaner salesman. His mentor is the veteran Tommy, whose methods are rather rude; his sole target is to be the best salesman in his team and to receive the "Golden Hoover". Their temperaments are quite different and the apprentice days turn wilder and wilder. Written by
Moritz Muehlenhoff <email@example.com>
Near the beginning, the chap with the glass eye proudly announces "Look at me, I made it. And I've got a glass eye". Both eyes then swivel to look at Pete, then away, showing us that it is a contact lens. See more »
While its style of jump cuts, close-ups and abrupt, energetic camera movement is jarring, this is a deliberate ploy on behalf of Boyle to unsettle the audience. We are drawn in to the hectic and aggressive lifestyle of the salesmen by the in-your-face action and dialogue. The combination of Boyle's exciting camera-work and Cartwright's intelligent, dark, witty script is, in my mind, perfect. There is an amazing amount of humour interspersed in the poverty, destitution and desperation of the backdrop.
But what really sets this drama apart is the amazing performance of Timothy Spall as the obsessive salesman. Despite playing an unadulterated b**tard, you can still see some humanity in his bullying and ruthless behaviour, and even feel pity at the person he has become. A lesser actor would surely have struggled to show the two sides to his character but Spall is utterly convincing and compelling in his intensity.
And if you like this, be sure to watch the other Boyle/Cartwright collaboration, 'Strumpet'.
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