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I first picked up Charlie Richardsons book ' My Manor' a few years ago, and, as the review by 'Punch' said, its a fantastic read. Its extremely witty, hard hitting and sensitive at the same time with an excellent perspective on how stupidly rigid society can be. It provided an excellent insight into his life - all in all propelling me and my girlfirend to drive miles to the first cinema that cropped up in the paper that had its sneak preview.
A wasted journey? Nearly. The film contained none of Charlie's wicked sense of humour, satire and dark wit. It was structured by different characters standing up in court to speak out against Charlie, with snapshots of his life/adventures in between. Good idea in theory but it just didnt work. Luke Goss [ a good actor in my opinion] looked like a Michael Fabricant fresh from a holiday scorcher in Gran Canaria with that daft haircut and perma-tan. His shirts were even worse. No favours done.
What really dampened its attempt at portraying a genuine South London snapshot of 60's gangland was the accents of the actors. Dick Van Dyke's chimney sweep would have been mortified to hear the 'cockney' accents, which sounded more like your average citizen from Sydney, Australia. They were just trying far too hard.
There were a few flashes of quality, for example the scene where train robber to be Charlie Wilson arrives at the scrap yard to pepper their office with shotgun pellets. Charlie and his brother Eddie are in hysterics [ and i mean laughing not crying] in the office, and hide Wilson from the police who arrive at the scrap yard after hearing the racket.
See it if you must, but i recommend the book. Save the petrol.
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