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.
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
Don't Cry Out Loud
(Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager)
Published by Irving Music Inc/Songs of Universal Inc
Performed by Elkie Brookw See more »
Solidly entertaining directorial debut from Robert Carlyle
This crime-comedy is lead actor Robert Carlyle's directorial debut. In it he plays the title character who is a late middle-aged barber living a life of humiliations who accidentally kills his boss after an argument, leading to a chain reaction of ever worsening events.
Typified by distinctive on-location shooting in the east end of Glasgow, this is a pretty good effort all round. It benefits from some effective comic acting by its cast, aside from Carlyle himself the two other standouts are Ray Winstone as a cockney cop displeased to be stationed north of the border and, best of all, working under heavy make-up Emma Thompson is very convincing as Carlyle's elderly Glaswegian mother; as per usual she puts in fine work here and nails her character pretty firmly. The plot-line isn't really massively interesting to be fair and, instead, the film works as a character-driven comedy. Fortunately, the characters are, for the most part, well-drawn and the comedy is often pretty funny. Things are ultimately rounded off with a finale that is perhaps a little predictable once the basic set-up is established but for this it can be forgiven. All-in-all, while it doesn't exactly break the mould, this film is still a pretty solid bit of fun.
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