Boyo lives with his brother Sid, his sister Gwenny and their elderly mother Marlene in an economically depressed area of South-West Wales. Their father has vanished when they were small ...
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Boyo lives with his brother Sid, his sister Gwenny and their elderly mother Marlene in an economically depressed area of South-West Wales. Their father has vanished when they were small children, apparently headed for America. The leather-jacketed, motorbike-riding Sid has grown up obsessed with American culture and dreams of joining his father in the States. When the brothers discover that an open-cast mine is opening nearby they join the scramble for jobs, but their mother is unaccountably against the idea. On the morning when they need to report for work, they find she has sabotaged Sid's bike, scuppering their chances of employment. Sid and Gwenny begin to spend more and more of their considerable spare time together, washing down medication they've obtained under their mother's name with pilfered booze. Marlene's increasingly eccentric behaviour leads to her being interred in a hospital, but Boyo is powerless to stop his brother and sister from drifting dangerously out of touch ...Written by
Peter Brynmor Roberts
Yes, it does pander to a lot of stereotypes ever present in British films. Drunks, drugs, people going bonkers and a grim landscape. But, that doesn't mean it isn't a good film! It has some funny moments, and features brilliant performances from Matthew Rhys and Sian Phillips (who looks like a movie star from the 50s, and retains the glamour even in the height of madness). And unfortunately, like most stereotypes, it has emerged from an element of truth.
I don't think anyone would be that shallow and stupid to look at this film, and think that is how everyone in the Valleys lives any more than people watch 'Trainspotting' and think everyone in Scotland shoots up all the times. The sad matter is these films do reflect reality for SOME people, and frankly I do not care if it reflects badly on Wales because these stories should be told. What happens to Sid is happening more and more in my area and is not being addressed.
Being a Neath girl, I may be biased because it is not often you get to see my area on screen, especially Banwen. But if anyone was to ask me where I grew up, what its like, I'd show them the film because it rings true, even if it is a huge exaggeration (hence, why it is called fiction). There is a lot of unemployment, there are a lot of people do drink too much, the weather is that bad most of the time but its mostly the humour, the way the people in the film connect. People do take the mick out of each other, and wind each other up, and cannot talk about their problems, and find things to laugh at in their bleakest moment.
If you want Shakespeare, watch Hamlet. If you want Working Class Britain, watch this.
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