Saturday, 20 October 2012

Broken nose, home, heart, body

Second film of the BFI London Film Festival was the amazing Broken. This is also included in my film challenge and is the UK entry.

Broken, based on a book by Daniel Clay of the same name, this debut centres around a 12 year old girl called Skunk. She has type 1 diabetes and an adventurous spirit. She lives with her Dad, brother and child minder in a cal-de sac where much of the other characters in the story live.

The film starts off with quite a violent scene. As Skunk returns from the shops, she says hello to one of the neighbours, Rick who has learning difficulties, a few seconds later he beaten to a bloody state by another neighbour, Mr Oswald. The reason for this outburst is explained after and becomes a trend in the film. The audience sees the effects before the reason. The story shifts from one cause to the next, depending on which character Skunk interacts with. Whether it is with own family, Mr Oswald and his three awful daughters, Rick, the now disturbed young man and her teacher Mike, who is in a relationship with the child minder. Lines are crossed all over the place but at the end of the day it is about Skunk.

Skunk, played by Eloise Laurance, is brilliant on screen. She plays her character with such ease and honesty. As several other reviews have said 'she's a find' and a sort after actress for the future. The cast is made up of amazing British actors that really do make the film a classic British film ensamble, sort of. Tim Roth as Archie, Skunk and Jed's Dad is a complete opposite to his previous characters. He is seen as the voice of advice and reason throughout the film and the person, I think Skunk trusts the most. One of the last few scenes is heartbreaking when Skunk goes missing and Archie, like any other parent, just doesn't know what to do or where to find her, when she is only just across the street.

There seems to be a theme in the films I have picked, without me realising it. A theme of fathers and children. In Love Story, Florian always spoke to his Dad via Skype about ideas and advice, in this film Archie is a father of two, Mr Oswald is a father of three daughters he can't control. Then the third film I saw, Easy Money, one of the centre characters is a father with a very young daughter who he wants to change for. Films usually focus on single parent families with just mothers, its so refreshing to see something different yet so normal.

Broken is a beyond fitting title as many things are broken throughout, not to mention a few more deaths than I expected in the film. Hearts are broken, homes are already broken and of course the scene where Mike, the teacher, has his nose broken by Mr Oswald.

A truly heartbreaking film with genuine moments of humour. The realistic depictions of families is what sold it for me.

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