Eye For Film >> Movies >> London To Brighton (2006) Film Review
In his debut feature Paul Williams is bare knuckled. If you thought this film was related to Genevieve, take a happy lozenge and fly away. The film is verbally, physically and emotionally brutal. You won't come out whistling a happy tune. You'll come out melted like ice cream.
The plot concerns prostitutes, perverts, gangsters, pimps and a girl of thirteen who is tied up for sex by a guy old enough to be her grandfather. After movies from the Guy Ritchie school of lovable villains, these characters are beyond redemption. Derek (Johnny Harris), the pimp, may be small fry, but he talks filth, which means four letter words every other and an instinct for violence. Stuart (Sam Spruell), the cold, silent type, is the gang boss' son. He's a sadist and a damaged human being. He never raises his voice; he just kills people.
Kelly (Lorraine Stanley), a street worker, is ordered by Derek to find an underage girl for the gang boss, Stuart's dad. Joanne (Georgia Groome), a runaway, is begging at the tube station. Kelly persuades her to do the job for a hundred quid. She doesn't say what the job is exactly, but for that kind of money even Joanne doesn't think it's a birthday party.
The evening with Mr Big goes seriously south and Kelly takes Joanne to Brighton to escape Derek. Meanwhile, Stuart is onto Derek. If he doesn't find the girls, he's cat food. If he does, they are.
On the simplest level, this is a chase flick. The girls do a runner; the bad guys follow. But then the bad guys are after each other as well, or, at least, keeping tabs. In the crime world, power rules, which means Derek has to mind his Fs and Cs.
Williams was once an actor, which may explain the exquisite performances from Stanley, Groome and Harris. Their contribution is immense. In the gangster genre, this film is right up there with Scorsese and Tarantino, except it's smaller and nastier.
As so often, only the girls have feelings that don't involve greed, or authority. If suffering is cathartic, they are as sane as Sunday morning.Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006