Skunk has diabetes and is a pretty cool teenager. The summer has just begun, and her days are filled with hope. Her life does change dramatically after she witnesses a violent attack on the neighbor Rick who’s unlawfully accused of rape.
Don’t be scared. I just want your goodness.
“Broken”. I‘m not sure yet what covers this title. Is it the broken relationships and mutual relations between the families living in this cul-de-sac. Is it about the fragile health of Skunk or the fragile state of mind of Rick. Or is it about the few broken noses that the hotheaded neighbor Bob hands out. From the first minute in this sad story, I was taken on a trip through several petty depressive states. Yes, you won’t have “happy” feelings after watching this movie. However, the end is a godsend and a gorgeous display of hope.
Every household has his cross to bear. In this dead end street they had end-of-season sales of heavy crosses. Let us hope that this is not a matter of course in most districts. First there’s Skunk, whose mother left for some accountant, and her family. She lives with her father Archie (Superb acting by Tim Roth),her brother and their housekeeper under one roof . The housekeeper has an on-off relationship with a teacher who is full of doubts about the future of their relationship. Skunk also has diabetes that she follows meticulously. Opposite lives the Buckley family. An older couple with the mentally disabled son Rick. A friendly guy who, as you’ll notice later, has a dark incalculable side. And then there is the aggressive and violent Mr. Oswald and his three teenage daughters. Bob Oswald’s wife is deceased and the education of his three daughters is his greatest concern . However the morbid concern about the welfare of his daughters is the cause of the improper conduct of the 3 annoying buggers.
Essentially, these three families have nothing in common and they show no affinity for each other (except Skunk vs. Rick), and yet their life paths will be intertwined in a drastic way which will lead to the resulting conflicts. The whole situation escalates because of one simple lie. A lie to cover up the truth and to prevent facing some measures. A lie that has disastrous consequences and brings the relationships even more to falter. Skunk her cheerful and carefree life collapses after witnessing an aggressive assault on the introvert and unworldly Rick. It’s the beginning of a spiral of sequential disturbing events.
“Broken” is a gripping social drama and a depressing situation report. This shows once again that British dramas can be of a high level. The debut of Eloise Laurence as the vulnerable Skunk doesn’t go unnoticed. A beautiful rendition that testifies a youthful spontaneity and empathy. The range of emotions that she has to show is not obvious, and yet she knows how to interpret it. I ‘m not easily impressed by certain actors , but this was a brilliant performance .
Tim Roth is a respected actor and known from the TV series “Lie to Me”. However, I’m not a avid fan of TV shows . But his appearances in “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” are well known to me. Roth has a kind of soothing, calm charisma. Sometimes he reminds me of a light version of James Bond with identical expressions like Steve Carell. That confident look and cool probing observation. An icy dispassionate attitude until that moment at the hospital sitting next to Skunk’s bed and telling his dream again in an emotional way. Masterfully portrayed.
I couldn’t really find any faults when it’s about the rest of the cast. Beautiful renditions piece by piece. The three pubescent teenage girls were playing in such a convincing way that you would consider to step up to those three brutal little twerps and put them in their place. Robert Emms should also be mentioned for his irresistible and not obvious rendition of Rick, the mentally handicapped neighbor. The impressive pity arousing beginning, the tormented and helpless attitude during his psychiatric confinement and the destructive frenzy at the end. All these aspects are brilliantly handled by him.
Filmic it also looks worked out nicely by Rufus Norris. The sometimes straightforward images with that typical British tone and style that you can find in acclaimed British series like “EastEnders“. The recurring flashbacks and dreamlike visions of the future are mixed with the daily harsh reality. Ultimately, the core of the film is scarier than any slasher or horror film. An impressive social story with a theatrical and, thank goodness, a positive ending.
My rating 8/10
Links : IMDB