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Colin is in agony, shattered by his wife's infidelity. However, he has friends who do more than stand by -- they kidnap the wife's French lover and hold him prisoner so that Colin can restore his manhood with revenge. A kangaroo court takes place and as the situation escalates Loverboy's life hangs in the balance as Colin wrestles with revenge, remorse, grief and self pity, all the while egged on by his motley crew of friends who just want him to get on with it so they can get down the pub. Written by
A Chick Flick About Guys...And I Mean That In a Good Way
First, since perspective counts, I am a woman. I suspect that my being a woman is part of the reason that I like this film more than "Sexy Beast"---which usually gets more stars. "44 Inch Chest" is a lot like one of those movies where sorority sisters get together after 20 years apart and spill their guts and all walk away feeling better about themselves and each other, because they are no longer pretending. Except in this film, the "sorority sisters" are underworld criminals who like to say "f--k" a lot. I say "f--k" a lot, too, so I never felt like getting up and leaving the theater, because of the profanity. And a good thing, too. Because the last ten minutes or so of this movie are among the most powerful and true that I have ever seen.
Women are not the only one's who hate themselves. And, by hating themselves, I mean hating their emotions. It is just that men and women are taught to hate different emotions. Women are allowed to grieve but not to express anger. That is why somewhere near the end of a chick flick, all the women get mad. Really mad. And then they laugh and feel so much better.
In the case of men, anger is 100% fine. But men are not allowed to grieve. So, we see a roomful of tough guys do what guys are supposed to do---get brutal. And brutal again. And brutal some more---- Until the end, when we realize that all that anger and brutality is meant to hide the sorrow and tears that men are never supposed to shed.
Ian McShane is wonderful in this movie, in large part, because he plays a character who knows himself. And who is gently nudging the hero, Ray Winstone to know himself, too. That makes McShane the Master and Winstone the monk in need of enlightenment. Enlightenment, when it comes, is painful, but it feels good, too.
If the violence in this film failed to satisfy, maybe it is because the violence was never meant to satisfy. Maybe the film maker's goal all along was to make us cry.
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