Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
Director: David Mackenzie
Running Time: 106mins
Speechless. Absolutely speechless…so ill type instead of talk about the amazing film that is David Mackenzie’s Starred Up!
There are a few posts on the blog that have built up the excitement for this film and i am so happy that it did not disappoint. Starred Up is a gripping and insightful film about the internal social structure of prison but more so about the relationship between a troubled father and son.
Eric Love is transferred from juvenile detention to adult prison prematurely and in doing so has to survive the internal struggles that he will undoubtedly face. While facing the shame, depression and violence that incarceration brings, Eric finds himself in the same institution as his father Neville. Its here that the real story unfolds as Eric as to come to terms with the type of man/prisoner he wants to be or ultimately the type his father could make him.
For those that haven’t seen the film yet, i don’t like to go into a synopsis of films but rather just point out the things that make a film good or bad. In this instance, the realism and grit of it make it absolutely fantastic. The authenticity of language and powerful performances by Jack O Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, make the characters relatable even to people who have never come into contact with prison, prisoners or their way of life. You find yourself becoming sympathetic to their individual situations and rooting for various inmates to survive the chaos of their confinement.
During the hour and forty minutes of this film that left me wanting more, you will laugh, cry, be shocked and appalled at the things that take place in prison. There is no question of its authenticity and you genuinely fear for Eric and those that grow close to him.
O Connell’s performance is riveting and engaging and sentimental in its deliverance making him a force to contend with in the coming years. The supporting cast consisting of David Ajala and Anthony Welsh are a welcome addition that provide comedy and ultimately a sense of family to an otherwise seemingly bleak situation.
Starred Up is simply a gem of British talent and film and could possibly be the best original film ill see this year.