Reviews written by registered user
NymChimpsky

2 reviews in total 
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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A riveting performance, 7 October 2001
6/10

This short film is pure brilliance.

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'.

42 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
An all-time classic, 30 November 2000
9/10

This has got to be one of the best sci-fi films ever made. Great plot, snappy and witty script, characters with real depth and histories, and a (debatably) great ending. What more could you ask for?

Although the plot is quite similar to that of 'When Worlds Collide', the realism of the characters and setting really lift the whole film far above its contemporaries. Its use of journalists to tell the story is similar to that of many of the classic works of literary science fiction (HG Wells' War Of The Worlds or John Wyndham's Kraken Wakes for example) and it follows a similar apocalyptic template as well.

The theme of mankind's actions causing havoc for the globe, which was originally a criticism of the cold war, is still very relevant today for quite different reasons. The parallel with global warming is obvious, and the graphic depiction of the effects of this are all the more disturbing because we see similar effects, on a smaller scale, around the world on a day to day basis. The film is shocking in its bleak vision of the havoc that mankind has brought upon himself.

Basically, this is the benchmark for all serious science-fiction, and makes a perfect partner for the other great of the cold war era, "The Day the Earth Stood Still".