The Lives Of The Saints

The Lives Of The Saints


Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

The Lives of the Saints starts off with an atmospheric vision of London as a bustling city of busy, quaint streets and sunshine. I was hoping it would maintain this atmosphere, but it gets bogged down in a story that goes pretty much nowhere.

Othello works for big, fat Mr. Karva, his crime-boss step-dad (at least I think that is what he is supposed to be because it's never really defined, but he does drop kittens into deep fat fryers, so trust me, he's a prick) doing scrappy little errands while his skanky girlfriend gives daddy hand-jobs. One of his colleagues is Roadrunner, a black dude who is always dashing from A to B. Until the day he comes across almost mute homeless child who grants him his wish of being able to stop running. Roadrunner dumps the lost boy in Othello's flat, where he promptly starts granting more wishes. Keen to have some of his own desires fulfilled, Karva has the boy kidnapped. But he isn't sure of what would really bring him happiness. Is it the innocence of being a child again or is it another hand-job? Either way, I don't want to see the little boy grant him the second.

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It just takes ages to get going and there are loads of repetitive scenes. The ending tries to be shocking but since there's hardly any back-story or investment in any of these characters it only serves as a release for the bored audience.

Writer Tony Grisoni, a favourite of Terry Gilliam, tries to blend in some kind of religious allegory which ends up being pretentious as all hell, ironically. If he gave us something more accessible or at least had better explanations for the characters suddenly acting all weird then it would have been a more enjoyable film. As it is, we are introduced to a bunch of annoying loudmouths who then miraculously seem to develop intelligence when confronted by the mysterious boy. Whose origins are never revealed. That's just plain irritating!

Aside from sporadic moments of atmosphere and a moody score, this film has little to recommend it. And what's with all the Looney Tunes references?

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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A small boy grants wishes, but what should people wish for?
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Darren Amner ***1/2

Director: Chris Cottam, Rankin

Writer: Tony Grisoni

Starring: David Leon, James Cosmo, Emma Pierson, Bronson Webb, Marc Warren, Daon Broni, Gillian Kearney, James Holmes, Sam MacLintock

Year: 2006

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


London 2006
EIFF 2006

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