Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle), awkward, diffident, Glasgow, Scotland barber, lives a life of desperate mediocrity and his uninteresting life is about to go from 0 to 60 in five seconds, as he enters the grotesque and comically absurd world of the serial killer.
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Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle) is a sad sack of a man. He identifies himself mostly as a barber, Hendersons' Barbers in a working class neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland, where he's worked for twenty years. More introspective than extroverted, which does not work well for the business, he has fewer and fewer customers, and as such his current boss, Wullie Henderson (Stephen McCole), son of the retired owner James Henderson (James Cosmo), who originally hired him, is moving him further and further away from the spotlight of the shop. Meanwhile, five men so far have been killed by who the general public is nicknaming the "Body Parts Killer", as the murderer sends through the post body parts of the victims to the victims' loved ones. Lead investigator, Detective Inspector Holdall (Ray Winstone), assisted by Detective Inspector Callum MacPherson (Kevin Guthrie), is no closer now to discovering the Body Parts Killer's identity than when the murders started two months ago. Wanting results,...Written by
Full with irony, wallowing and bitterness, Barney Thomson is a comedy for an acquired taste
The titular Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle) is a less than friendly man, he complains about many things and is generally unapproachable. One day he stumbles upon a series of hazardously unfortunate events which lead him into awkward world of crime. This is a very distinct style of comedy, which can be poignantly funny at times, but also riddled with tons of profanity and can be even resentful, thus it probably caters to more adult audience.
Acting is sharply over-the-top as Barney wonders into sillier antics than the last, involving his strange mom as well as detectives hell bent on pursuing a serial killer. It's a harsh unapologetic direction for comedy, a bit similar to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, certainly not a light watch for casual or younger audience, but for mature demographic the oddities might be a treat.
The cast performs with intense gusto and yelling, which is also one of the movie's quirks. Its accent is very thick, when said in fast pace it can be confusing, so subtitles would be helpful for this case. It can be jarring when the movie tries to pull off a strangely dark tone, borderline uncomfortably so. Furthermore, the actors seem truly invested on delivering all around antagonizing characters, thus there's no real heroes here.
The movie could be vulgar at times, yet its crude and bloody nature might be ironically entertaining.
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