Monday, October 12, 2009

Review - Bronson

Based off a true story of England's most famous prisoner, "Bronson" follows a young man named Michael Peterson, who is sentenced to serve 7 years after robbing a post office. While in prison the hot-headed Peterson, who wants desperately to make a name for himself, ends up serving over 34 years in prison. 30 of which he was sentenced to solitary confinement. Throughout his time in prison, Michael creates an alter-ego named after the famous Hollywood actor Charles Bronson, intending to continue his violent and hot tempered actions all the while building his superstar persona he believes to have created.

Nicolas Winding Refn's "Bronson" is a dark and gripping story that is trumped with a hypnotizing performance by Tom Hardy. Hardy isn't well known here in the States, but after watching his abilities here in "Bronson" audiences are sure to take notice. Hardy is "Bronson," he makes Refn's script come alive and ultimately keeps you captivated from opening to closing credits.

The film is in of itself, almost a one man show stage performance. Refn utilizes a theatre setting to illustrate Bronson's narration. These scenes are powerful to say the least and resonate how great of a talent Hardy really is. In the film, Bronson is essentially allowing the audience into his mind and psyche. What he reveals is both shocking and at times very disturbing. "Bronson" is not for the faint of heart and it is most definitely an acquired taste. That is not to say "Bronson" isn't comical, because much of it is, just in a way that not everyone would appreciate.

Tom Hardy does not hold anything back in his performance in "Bronson," he is absolutely remarkable. He electrifies while on screen and does nothing but keep the viewer glued to see how Bronson's story will play out. Hardy ultimately delivers a complete performance, one that expected him to convey a true sense of raw emotion and anger.

Hardy also does a fabulous job a playing along with the supporting cast. As I said previously, "Bronson" is almost a one man show and the supporting cast is given very little to do other than play a part in Bronson's wicked games. As Bronson uses various individuals to get what he wants, you see how desperate and deranged Bronson has become throughout his time in prison.

"Bronson" is very much a slow moving film. It crawls along developing Bronson's demented psyche and persona. Most of the pacing comes down to the fact that "Bronson" is a one man show and most of the film is spent explaining his desire to become England's most notorious prisoner. The slow burn is very much, in the end, well worth it. Nicolas Winding Refn's screenplay is twisted and intriguing combing for a movie that is well worth the price of admission. If you get a chance to see "Bronson" don't pass it up.