Despite having a drunken, abusive father and a brother who leads a local gang John McGill is a studious boy for whom a bright educational future beckons. As he grows into his teenage years, the challenges of youth mixed with the challenges of being brought up in a tribal and violent place right at the low end of the class spectrum take their toll. John is a fighter, which although isn't what his Mother, at least, wishes for him; may it prove to be what brings him salvation?Written by
don @ minifie-1
The main character on the edge of sanity has a weapon in his hand and play-acts tough guy in front his bedroom mirror similar to the famous "are you looking at me" scene with Travis Bickle. See more »
Teachers were not allowed to smoke in classrooms in the mid-1970s. See more »
Benny McGill's wee brother's a smart wee cunt. How do you no' know I'm no' on my way to go stab fuck out of him right now? And how do you know I wouldnae take it out on you? See that there? That's a fucking blade. Know what that's used for? For gutting daft wee fucking boys like you, you wee cunt. Luckily for you, however, I'm a fuckin' good guy, and me and Benny are good pals.
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The film successfully exposes the frustrations and impotence of failed systems in religion, education, friendship, families, government and employment. Scenes that are funny one moment take on deeper and darker meaning the next. Excellent acting, writing and direction. What is referred to by one reviewer as the Jesus scene, I felt is central to the thread of religion that runs through the movie, though each viewer can interpret it as they wish. It is just as appropriate as Rentons withdrawal scenes in Trainspotting for comparison. It seemed to me that the characters could deal with the physical beatings, but the subtle, and silent violence was more brutal, insidious, and damaging. It is one of those films that will keep you thinking long after the credits finish.
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