fbpx

LONDON TO BRIGHTON

Director: PAUL ANDREW WILLIAMS

U.K.| 2006 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 85 MIN.


WRITER-DIRECTOR PAUL ANDREW WILLIAMS’ FEROCIOUS DEBUT ANNOUNCES ITS INTENTIONS STRAIGHT OFF. A YOUNG WOMAN WHO LOOKS TOUGH ENOUGH WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF A THROBBING BLACK EYE, IS IN A CONFAB IN A GROTTY PUB LOO WITH A SLIP OF A GIRL, BOTH CLEARLY FRIGHTENED. THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR: BAD STUFF HAS ALREADY HAPPENED, WORSE MAY BE YET TO COME.
The tension’s pulled tight early on and it never slackens. Kelly (Lorraine Stanley), she of the shiner, is a prostitute who’d initially cajoled the younger one Joanne (Georgia Groome) off the streets, to be delivered to a gangland figure with a taste for the most innocent flesh, before a flicker of compassion intervened. Brilliantly credible performances help build ruthless momentum between flashbacks and the girls’ ongoing flight towards the south coast, revealing a truly bleak milieu, where Kelly’s victimised by her pimp Derek (Johnny Harris), who’s at the mercy of his razorwielding boss—himself scarred by the ongoing legacy of his paedophile father. Those at the top of the food chain enact their sadism out of lingering inner shame. Those, like Joanne, least able to defend themselves, suffer. Unpalatable it might be, but there’s an ultimate truth here which lends tragic substance to the film’s headlong rush. Although the territory’s been staked out on celluloid by Ken Loach, the cheese-wire toughness rather recalls Get Carter. Like Mike Hodges’ enduring British classic, London to Brighton derives its unlovely potency from the suggestion that even in the midst of pitiless corruption some humane conscience still survives. —Trevor Johnston.

Book Tickets

}