HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Nil By Mouth It's A Shame About Ray
Year: 1997
Director: Gary Oldman
Stars: Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles, Laila Morse, Edna Doré, Chrissie Cotterill, Jon Morrison, Jamie Foreman, Steve Sweeney, Terry Rowley, Sam Miller, Leah Fitzgerald, Gerry Bromfield, Neil Maskell, Sid Golder
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: South Londoner Ray (Ray Winstone) is married to Valerie (Kathy Burke), and they have one little girl with another baby on the way. For entertainment they attend the local working men's club, but Ray tends to leave Val on her own to sit with her mother and female friends while he sits elsewhere so he can chat and drink with his mates. And make no mistake, he likes to drink, and he likes a laugh just as anyone does, and if there are drugs about he won't say no to them either. Val's brother Billy (Charlie Creed-Miles) has secured some for him, but there's another aspect to Ray that his family will be reminded of all too vividly: he is a violent man, too.

After Trainspotting was the hit it was in Britain, there was a a strain of comedy that sought to replicate it's hard-edged laughs, often with severely offputting results. Nil By Mouth starts like one of those, with the characters swapping jokey anecdotes about dodgy dealings, but having a chuckle is not what Gary Oldman, the actor making his directorial debut here, is interested in. And after a while, you come to realise the menace in Ray's personality and nothing about this film seems funny at all. In addition to directing, Oldman wrote the script and co-produced, and the impression is that this world he depicts he knew well.

In fact, one of the most disturbing parts is that right at the end, after all the violence and abuse, Oldman dedicates the film to his father which in light of what this says about fathers makes you worry for the star's upbringing. There is an authenticity about the situations here that is hard to shake even once the film is over, and that includes the world record attempt at cramming in as many swear words into the dialogue as possible. But if that shocks you, then it's nothing compared to the atmosphere of lives able to go horribly wrong in a moment.

Billy is a heroin addict, and his actions show how one crime can cause another, however unintentionally. He steals Ray's stash, then when Ray beats him up over it and sends him packing from his flat, the boy finds he needs more cash to feed his habit and as he has a key, he lets himself in while everyone else is out and helps himself to anything he think he can make a profit on. It's this which sends the already volatile Ray flying off the handle which culminates in his harrowing beating of his wife when he drives himself into a drunken and jealous rage (she was playing pool with another man - nothing more than that).

For many, the fact that Val is still with Ray at the end of the story will beggar belief, but the point is that she has nowhere else to go, and her daughter needs a father. It's the children we see being affected by the behaviour of their parents, and the loss of the baby thanks to Ray's brutality is the extreme consequence of that. But Oldman is keen to dig beneath the surface of these tragedies, and ends up blaming a cycle of violence that passes from father to son; Ray is given a monologue where he observes the ill treatment and lack of any love or encouragement he received from his own father, not that this excuses him. If Oldman has a flaw as a director it's that he overindulges is actors, with too many earthy scenes of the characters fighting against their inarticulacy, but when the standard of performing is so high, as it is here, you're willing to forgive him. It's just that you may not be keen to watch this twice (or even once).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2799 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: