A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
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The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother.
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Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to seven years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and 'Charles Bronson,' his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson - a scathing indictment of celebrity culture.Written by
Contrary to popular belief, Tom Hardy did not do 2,500 push-ups a day in preparation for the role of Bronson. The confusion and reason for this rumor is that Charlie Bronson (Michael Peterson) himself was the one doing 2,500 push-ups a day around the time Hardy was meeting with him to gather information for the film script. Hardy himself denied this rumor during an interview in late 2009 with Michael Slenke from Interview Magazine. The full interview is available at the magazine's website. The interview is titled 'Rough Character'. See more »
The watch which lays in the basket after Charlie is declared sane was actually made in 2008-09 and sold at Wal-Mart for around 40$ CAD. See more »
[Desperately trying to escape from an insane asylum, Bronson meets a patient named John White who reveals that he is a child rapist. Disgusted by pedophiles and wanting to go back to prison, he unsuccessfully tries to kill White by strangulation before carried off by guards]
[Scene change, Bronson walks onto a theater stage set in his sub-conscious mind]
I would now like to reenact what I call, "When Murder Goes Wrong".
[Bronson as himself, right side facing audience]
When do I go back?
Charles Bronson (as nurse):
[...] See more »
This film has much to recommend it and its reputation will probably go up in time as more people see it. It looks fantastic and the performance by Tom Hardy is compelling. There is no attempt to sentimentalise this character or depict him as a victim. The dialogue is taut and authentic and contains many lines which may, in time, become as familiar as those in say Get Carter. My favourite is "you just p***ed on a gypsy in the middle of nowhere. Its hardly the hot ticket."
My slight problem is that the film sometimes tries too hard to impress. This is most noticeable during the long (literally) operatic scenes. These scenes become especially prevalent towards the end, when Wagnerian music accompanies Bronson's drawings (with an ill-fitting cartoon sequence) and the warden slow-mo strolling down the corridor. I did not see what the music added here. In the violent climax, the music actually detracted from the physicality of the scene.
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