The morning after the Albanians have sent the burning car into a hotel owned by Richie,torching part of it,Richie goes for a check-up with prosperous Dr Seb Whiting,an old acquaintance,who diagnoses ...
Richie is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease but is determined to restore the fire-damaged hotel. After the woman's torso is discovered in the sea Marin and his gang call on Matty,demanding medical ...
The gangsters in Graham Green's 1950's classic Brighton Rock seem almost cuddly and lovable in comparison with their modern day counterparts in The Fear.
Neatly suited and booted wide boys cutting each other's cheeks with razors, and reliable, honest detectives have been replaced by slimy bent coppers and hoards of swarthy, Eastern European thugs setting off car bombs and hacking each other's body parts off with industrial-sized meat cleavers.
Channel 4's latest four part drama opens as local crime boss turned businessman Richie Beckett drives home from a fund raising event at Brighton Pier. When a passing unicyclist (yes, I did say unicyclist) thoughtlessly leans on his nice shiny limo, Richie jumps out of the car and beats the poor guy to within an inch of his life.
Only a few short moments after the attack, Richie seems to remember nothing about it. Is he suffering from memory loss? Maybe early-onset Alzheimer's? Or does Richie just have a pathological dislike of unicyclists? One thing's for sure, this is going to be no ordinary gangster series.
Richie is brilliantly played by Peter Mullan, who has kicked around TV drama for many years and deserves to be a lot better known than he is. You might remember him playing Gordon Brown in The Trial of Tony Blair. Mullan walks a tantalising tightrope between likable vulnerability and terrifying menace, and it's hard to take your eyes off the screen when he's on. There's also a nice little cameo by one of my favourite actors Richard E. Grant as Richie's suave but decidedly dodgy doctor.
Things get nasty when Richie's son Cal (played by former Eastenders regular Paul Nicholls) gets more than a little out of his depth with a bunch of newly imported Albanian hard men who want to take over his dad's seaside patch.
This is bad news for Richie's wife Jo (Anastasia Hille). She thought Richie's gangster days were long gone and she now runs a trendy Brighton art gallery. The last thing she wants is a load of claret being splattered all over her nice expensive paintings.
Cal's brother Matty tries to make peace with the Albanians, and all he gets is beaten up for his trouble. But there is far, far worse to come.
Escalating violence and Richie's rapid descent into a twilight world of frustration and confusion make The Fear one of the most compelling and addictive television dramas of 2012. It's jam-packed with great performances and stunning visuals, and Richard Cottan's script is fresh and original. Michael Samuels directs with considerable flair and style and is clearly a name to watch out for in future.
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