When it’s over, the acting was fantastic. The performances by actors, Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, and Eddie Marsan, will make you forget you are watching a film. They will pull you into their character's lives and make you feel the grief and pain they endure on a daily basis. Writer/Director, Paddy Considine did a fine job on his feature film debut by capturing some of the most disturbing aspects of human behaviour as portrayed through his cast of damaged characters. This film is the story about a man named Joseph (Mullan), who is on the verge of self-destruction, but gets a second chance at redemption when he meets Hannah (Colman), a Christian woman who takes notice of him. Hannah isn't all she appears to be with her smiles and words of comfort, and as their friendship grows, Joseph realizes that Hannah has her own demons, mainly in the form of her husband (Marsan). There was plenty of violence, but not in the usual way we see violence in films where one person beats another person or the use of guns and swords. The violence in this film was more unexpected, the quiet violence. The characters don't know when it's coming and when it comes, it comes hard and deliberate, raw and explosive. There were two scenes that really lingered for me – the death of the first dog and the spousal rape scene. These powerful scenes came out of nowhere, completely knocking me off-balance as a viewer, a rarity in films these days. The film was depressing and bleak, and had enough “F” words to rival Pulp Fiction (1994), but even in its darkest despair, Considine offered a sliver of hope, and it's this hope that gave the positive ending this film rightly deserved.
My rating: 4 out of 5
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