Crime in sharp contrast

2011-09-02 10:33

Film: London Boulevard (Nu?Metro)

Director: William Monahan

Featuring: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin and David Thewlis

Rating: 7/10

London Boulevard is scriptwriter William Monahan’s directorial debut – he wrote the Oscar-winning The Departed as well as Body of Lies.

As you might expect, his first foray behind the camera has produced an arresting film about an ex-con who wants to go straight, but his past won’t let him.

Colin Farrell is spot on as Mitchel, the criminal who doesn’t want to be one, especially after he takes a job as a private security guard to reclusive movie star Charlotte (Keira Knightley).

Mitchel is a complex character who does immoral things, but has a moral compass, even if to most of us it would seem to be a bit on the wonky side.

Mitchel’s old friends are bad people and they won’t let him go. His old friend Billy, played with snivelling accuracy by Ben Chaplin, wants Mitchel to help him with his loan-shark collections.

But a chance encounter gets Mitchel a job with Charlotte and he sees a life beyond crime.

Mitchel’s escape from London’s criminal element is made even more impossible when his efficiency in getting out of sticky situations puts him on the radar of a very dangerous man indeed – Gant (Ray Winstone), a villain who won’t take no for an answer.

What ensues is a vicious cat-and-mouse game between the two.

London Boulevard is a highly stylised film that traverses two shadowy worlds – that of the criminal network and that of the famous. Monahan’s script, based on Ken Bruen’s novel, highlights the crossover between the two.

Knightley, whom I find incredibly irritating, plays the part of the overly anxious star well, her falling in love with Mitchel is believable.

Though the two come from different worlds, they are both hiding from something and find solace in each other.

While the burgeoning love story might be the catalyst for Mitchel’s bloody exit strategy, it is this strategy that makes London Boulevard a humdinger of a crime drama.

The film also boasts an array of finely acted bit parts from the likes of Anna Friel as Mitchel’s crazy sister, David Thewlis as Charlotte’s trusty permanently stoned aide, and Eddie Marsden as an odious cop on the take.

Fans of British crime dramas in the tradition of Layer Cake and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels will enjoy this sharply dressed addition to the genre.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.