In South Yorkshire, a small group of railway maintenance men discover that because of privatization, their lives will never be the same. When the trusty British Rail sign is replaced by one reading East Midland Infrastructure, it is clear that there will be the inevitable winners and losers as downsizing and efficiency become the new buzzwords. A cheery camaraderie is soon replaced by uncertainty and turmoil when their depot manager fills them in on the details of the new arrangement. Privatization means that the customer now comes first, something that is instilled into the men in new training sessions. But there are inconsistencies and shortsightedness to the new ways. Men used to working together now find themselves belonging to different, competing companies. Some even have to tender for their old jobs. Others decide to take the redundancy packages offered by the firm. As always, corners are cut in the interest of lowering costs, leading to a series of misadventures.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Ken Loach is known for his political/social films. This one is no different. The story of the consequences of the privation of British Rail is told through the eyes of the simple workers. They are the one who suffer the most from it. Loach is very sympathetic to them and doesn't hide it. In his opinion they are the "good guys". He tells their story with humor which draw us to their side. There is nothing wrong about that because he is right, they are the good guys.
Loach is also cleverly draw the impact privation have on the safety matters in this case and the unnecessary death it brings. As usual Loach uses a lot of non-professional actors and they do a very good job and we feel very close to them because they seem real and the problems they are facing seem also real.
This is a good film. No fireworks here, but a solid piece of work. The ending is a bit of disappointment, because it hangs in the air with no conclusion. And sometime all we need is a solid film. Just go and see it.
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