44 Inch Chest

44 Inch Chest [Blu Ray]: a man is left shattered when his wife walks out on him, so he and some unsavory friends kidnap Casanova and figure out how to best resolve the situation. Instantly obvious is the unimaginable level of crass language and nasty homophobic terms oozing from your speakers for the duration… it’s almost too much, yet it provides a strangely soothing and lyrical/rhythmic effect when intertwined with the cockney rhyming slang script. It also somehow feels genuine and integral to the situation and characters. With a strong play-like feel (long scenes, one main setting, and dips in and out of pretentiousness) it’s very much an ‘actor’s film’, and each cast member gets your undivided attention to shine at some point. The breakdown of the main character means you’re never really sure what’s real and what’s not, which is also a bit surreal. I’ve never really rated Ray Winstone as more than a typecast, but this absolutely ripped my heart out – his eyes and the speech about love being a hard graft are as good as it gets. McShane easily has the best character, best flashback and most room for fun; which he clearly laps up. There’s some lovely black comedy, and great usage of cinematic tropes – particularly music to manipulate. The BD picture and sound are average, although the content’s not really HD worthy. More than anything else, 44 Inch Chest the tale of a broken hard man being challenged by several stereotypes of stock British gangster characters – which keeps it interesting for the duration. Because of the off kilter tone and excessive offensive language you can’t safely recommend this, although it could well be one of the best sleeper hits you’ll ever see… I guess time will tell.

Score: 7/10

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4 comments
  1. I loved this one. Just saw it a few weeks back, in fact It had remnants of ‘Sexy Beast’, but it explored Winstone’s character (and laid him bare) more. It is very much an actor’s film, alright. Good review of an extraordinary film.

  2. Colin said:

    I just wanted him to bloody well get on with it. All talk and no trousers, that Winstone fella.

  3. Will definitely check this out. I love sleeper hits, plus the cast in this one is great.

  4. Paragraph Film Reviews said:

    @VS – definitely worth a look, just dont expect a big flashy UK crime film, it’s definitely more subtle.

    @Colin – Was a good change for him from the stereotypical racist brute of a crime boss.

    @Le0pard – Was a bit knocked over when the soliloquies kept popping up and people got stuck in to some right decent acting. No complaints though. Best monologue since JCVD’s epic 4th wall breakage!

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