A Room For Romeo Brass

A Room For Romeo Brass


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There is something so raw about this movie that complaints about script structure seem inappropriate. The acting is patchy and, at times, wooden. What begins as a rites-of-passage test of friendship, about two 12-year-old kids who live next door to each other in fairly messed up families, ends in horror with a psycho about to smash one of their dad's brains out with a hammer.

Romeo (Andrew Shim) is black, although his father (Frank Harper), who stays in a mobile home down the street, is white. His best friend, Gavin (Ben Marshall), is crippled with a bad back and walks with a limp. Later he goes to hospital and spends the rest of the movie in bed.

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Writer/director Shane Meadows switches the emphasis away from the kids onto weirdo Morell (Paddy Considine), who saves the boys from being beaten up by a gang. He starts hanging out with them, in order to get close to Romeo's teenage sister (Vicky McLure). Obviously deranged, even before he gets violent, he is a deeply disturbing character. Non-actor Considine has an undisciplined attitude towards playing the part, which only adds to Morell's threatening presence.

Meadows breaks the rules by changing the mood of the film just when the audience is warming to a best friends' hug-in. It encourages a nervous response. The emergence of this mentally unstable boy/man suggests every kind of possible abuse. Rage bubbles beneath his lid, like boiling oil. Romeo's story suddenly becomes Morell's and no one feels safe.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A Room For Romeo Brass packshot
Young lads develop a friendship across racial boundaries.
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Director: Shane Meadows

Writer: Paul Fraser, Shane Meadows

Starring: Martin Arrowsmith, Dave Blant, Darren O. Campbell, Paddy Considine, Shaun Fields, Julia Ford, Ladene Hall, Frank Harper, Nicholas Harvey, James Higgins, Bob Hoskins

Year: 1999

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK, Canada


EIFF 1999

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