British Cinema has often been about exploring the representation of social realism, usually with regards to gritty British sub-cultures and under-classes. From Ridley Scott’s Boy and Bicycle (1965) with a focus on the relationship between teenage angst and authoritarianism, to the explosion of British gangster films in the 1990’s with Nil by Mouth (1997) and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), the success of The British film industry had boomed.

His performance in this psychological thriller is certainly not for the faint hearted…

However, throughout the last ten years a new face has begun to dominate British Cinema, Shane Meadows’ ‘partner in crime’ and actor turned director – Paddy Considine. Considine made his first appearance in Meadows’, A Room for Romeo Brass (1999) where he played ‘Morell’, a seemingly simple and affable middle aged man who befriends two adolescent boys, Romeo and Knocks. The films begins with a number of sweetly comedic and inviting scenes where Morell convinces the boys to bunk off school and pursue new exciting adventures with him. Surprisingly, Considine plays the role so well that the audience are left with a feeling of alarming ease and sense of normality at a middle aged man hanging around with children. On the flip side, from out of nowhere and almost halfway through the film Considine pounces on the audience with dark and violent tendencies, this is clearly a character who is deeply disturbed. One of the most distressing scenes is when Morell is threatening Knock’s weeping father,  “Get on your knees, I’m going to drive this through your f***ing skull” – Considine’s matter-of-fact-tone whilst wielding a hammer above his head as he says this is a truly chilling and perverted scene that leaves you cold and numb.

…together they are a force to be reckoned with in the realms of British Cinema…

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) reveals Considine at his most accomplished, or most exposed. Similarly to A Room for Romeo Brass, Considine’s acting is again, raw and fresh challenging audiences with an uncomfortable balance of black comedy and extreme hostility – he takes no prisoners. His performance in this psychological thriller is certainly not for the faint hearted. The narrative is simplistic which allows the storyline to evolve with the characters. The anti-hero, Richard (Considine) is an ex-member of the Parachute Regiment who sets out on a blood-curdling journey to wreak revenge on those who killed and bullied his disabled brother. Whilst completing all this in a horrifying gas mask, is nothing short of terrifying. Considine did co-write this screenplay with Shane Meadows proving that together they are a force to be reckoned with in the realms of British Cinema.

I’m not sure whether scenes of rape have been so graphically and realistically portrayed to an audience of millions before during a primetime television slot…

Let’s not forget the mind-blowing performance that Johnny Harris put his heart and soul into the This Is England 86 series, which was inspired by Considine’s character, Richard in Dead Man’s Shoes. This series was controversially shown on Channel 4 a few months back. After the final episode, myself, and many others were left dumbfounded after witnessing the rape scene. A wave of reactions proceeded after the viewing, many a twitter, facebook status and blog all made comments on the impact that scene made on us. I’m not sure whether scenes of rape have been so graphically and realistically portrayed to an audience of millions before during a primetime television slot.

Considine is a truly unique talent; he manages to tap into your every sense and subconscious with a feeling of ease and sado-masochism. He leaves you breathless, hanging onto his every word; He really is a present unsung hero of British Cinema. Be sure to catch up with Considine in 2011 in Blitz (release date 6th May) and Girl on a Bicycle which is currently in pre-production, I’m sure he won’t disappoint.

Image courtesy of Jack English

 

 

About The Author

A proactive Media Teacher inspired by all things 'media'.

2 Responses

  1. click

    Consumer choices now control the entertainment marketplacein a way that has beenvery unlikely prior tothe word wide web and the viral submitting of current information as well ascomplete entertainment content material. Whenever you add to that distribution world wide web news reports websites, from gossip to entire films. It’s really a whole new planet. Some of it really good, some not.

    [Reply]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.