Down Terrace [Blu-ray]
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Our story begins with Bill and Karl just released from a brief jail detention. A jolly welcome home party ensues, but it's easy to tell that darkness is fast approaching. Apparently, Bill and Karl run a nightclub, but only as a cover for their underworld crime syndicate division. The old reliable "Snitch In Our Midst" plot device is revealed to be the reason for the jail time. As our anti-heroes seek the traitor, you will not believe the behavior on display.
Violent yet minimally bloody, DOWN TERRACE could be the quietest Hooligan cinema ever imagined. The emotional wallop, however, will leave you knackered.
In this opportunity, we assist to the tragedy of a decadent and crumbling empire that is about to end, and how the wild instinct of preservation and survival simply ignores (like in most of cases happen) transforms this wealthy clan in a huge bloody swamp.
Filmed according the rules of cinema verite, still accent the anguish and the inner demons that nestle beneath their souls.
Good film but never a great one!
Ably performed in semi-improvised style by a first-rate cast, Ben Wheatley's film emphasizes the culture of mistrust that permeates this so-called close network of criminals. Although professing loyalty to one another through frequent hugs and epithets ("You know I love you"), it's clear that no one really can rely on anyone else to be truthful either in their behavior or their responses to one another. This is a dog-eat-dog community in which only the fittest can survive. There are some gory moments in the film, but they are handled with such panache that we understand Wheatley"s purpose in including them - in a world where 'good' and 'evil' no longer exist, every behavioral move can be seen as absurd, even comic.
Tautly filmed with an astute use of close-up, pans and two-shots in tight spaces, DOWN TERRACE is a low (or perhaps) no-budget piece of work that nonetheless confirms the director's mastery of cinematic form. Highly recommended.
Netflix, in their inimitable quest for complete inaccuracy, lists Down Terrace as a comedy. If you can see, say, The Homecoming as a comedy, maybe. (I was going to use Endgame, but there's enough farce in there that it actually does work as a comedy.) I found it one of the bleakest movies I have seen so far this year, a movie so far removed from the comedy world that I'm not even sure they inhabit the same planet. This is a movie about, as another review of the film that I read recently put it so very well, “unlikable people doing unlikable things”; that is as good a summary as anything I could come up with.
While the film is essentially plotless, I'll go with Netflix's summary, since that is at least a subplot here, but with a whole lot of clarification. Bill and Karl (real-life father-and-son team, and Wheatley regulars, Robert and Robin Hill) are small-time gangsters, Bill a drug dealer and Karl a runner, who have just narrowly escaped a long prison sentence. Their mole in the home office, David Berman (The World's End's Mark Kemper), tells them from the first time wee see him that somewhere in their organization is a mole who's been telling the police all about their business, as well as providing the coppers with an extensive list of contacts. The movie takes place over the two weeks after the charges have been dismissed. Ostensibly, it is about Bill, Karl, and Bill's wife Maggie (Shaun of the Dead's Julia Deakin) shaking down their friends and acquaintances in order to find out who the informant is, but so little screen time is spent on the actual mystery of the informant's identity that it is, in essence, a subplot at best.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This a gritty and darkly humorous crime drama that delivers its body blows with the force of a Greek tragedy. It makes Goodfellas look like My Blue Heaven. Read morePublished 21 months ago by John Michael Foster
Marvellous,low budget study of low life criminals.Acting is superb and the humour is very dark.No glamorising of crime in this one which makes is quite unique.Published on September 17, 2011 by books
Horrible! Horrible! Horrible! I'D GIVE IT ZERO STARS IF I COULD! Don't let the cool cover graphics and description fool you. Read morePublished on September 4, 2011 by Jefferson
Question: What do you get when you take a Guy Ritchie type crime story with the pacing of a Jim Jarmusch film and have it directed by Kevin Smith? Read morePublished on May 23, 2011 by Michael Noyes
Think Coen Brothers meets a KEN LOACH movie and you'll get the jist. Small budget but Great Acting finds this quirky British story of a Father & Son just out of a short stint in... Read morePublished on April 11, 2011 by Rob Burns
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