It's 3:07am and two girls burst into a run down London toilet. Joanne is crying her eyes out and her clothing is ripped. Kelly's face is bruised and starting to swell. Duncan Allen lies in his bathroom bleeding to death. Duncan's son, Stuart, has found his father and wants answers. Derek, Kelly's pimp, needs to find Kelly or it will be him who pays. Kelly and Joanne need to get through the next 24 hours alive...Written by
Being hailed by some as 'the best British film of the century' (Big Issue) and 'British cinema at its best' (The Scotsman) and on the back of several prestigious film award from festivals around the world 'London to Brighton' has a lot to live up to. It doesn't disappoint, dark, violent, gritty and bleak this is what Mike Leigh would be like if he did 18 certificate films with Shane Meadows as his assistant. From the opening sequence of the two main characters bursting battered and bruised into a public toilet it grips like a hand round the throat and only lets up to become uncomfortable, it is certainly an assault on the senses and sensibilities of the cinema audience who take this brutal journey along with the characters on screen. Shot on a relatively low budget but managing to not seem so, the films main tricks are in the editing, jump cuts and flashbacks only adding to the suspense as you begin to piece together the whole sordid story. With some superb acting from the cast, especially Joanne who portrays her vulnerability like Toby Kebbell did in 'Dead Mans Shoes', and a suitably dirty soundtrack the whole thing feels very British. It has the grainy look of 'Get Carter' mixed with the grey of any Ken Loach, the backdrops of dirty streets and dirtier walls only make scenes like the two polystyrene cups blowing in the wind (reminiscent of the carrier bag in 'American Beauty') all the more beautiful. There are of course other nods like a shot that lingers on a doorway for ages instead of showing us what's happening inside which reminded me of a similar shot in Hitchcock's film 'Frenzy'. Although not an easy watch it manages to balance the bloody with the beautiful, the violence with the unlikely friendship between the two main female leads and triumphs just as everyone says as one of the best British thrillers of recent years. London to Brighton deserves to be a huge hit, its bold, its brilliant and its British and it proves once again that we have a thriving film industry packed full of talented people that can still give Hollywood a run for it's money.
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