44 Inch Chest
- Director:Malcom Venville
- Cast:John Hurt, Ian McShane, Tom Wilkinson, Ray Winstone
- Release Date:April 29, 2010
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$15.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Driven by an impressive cast, this dark and hilarious film is absolutely unmissable
44 Inch Chest has been compared - probably just because it shares the same scriptwriters - with the much loved British crime film Sexy Beast. But it's way, way better than that: stunningly good, in fact. More relevant reference points would be Othello, Derek And Clive, Reservoir Dogs, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Long Good Friday, yet somehow it also emerges as triumphantly original. Not to mention dark, moving, lyrical, suspenseful, imaginative and frequently hilarious. There are moments of disturbing violence, but also of pathos and even profundity. Every character seems uncannily real. One of them describes love as both very simple and very complex, and so it is with the film itself.
Ray Winstone plays Colin, a rough-hewn car salesman whose life collapses when his wife (Joanne Whalley) falls for someone else - a French waiter (Melvil Poupaud) - and wants to leave. Colin's gangsterish friends - who range from misogynistic tough guy Old Man Peanut (John Hurt) to Mephistolean homosexual Meredith (Ian McShane) - kidnap the lover, and take him to a decrepit old London house. The level of revenge to be exacted is now Colin's call, with murder a distinctly plausible option. It's a basic premise, but the magic is in the treatment (the film announces an exciting new talent in debut director Malcolm Venville), so that what might have been flaws become strengths: staginess becomes gripping claustrophobia, and foul-mouthed ranting metamorphoses into poetry.
As you'll have gathered, 44 Inch Chest is really something. It boasts a crackerjack cast and a richly dense script, and scenes of inspired fantasy and hallucinatory nightmarish power. Ray Winstone, always impressive, has never been better; this is the stuff of both little-man poignancy and Shakespearean tragedy. For anyone not deterred by extended scenes of testosterone-fuelled fury, it's absolutely unmissable.