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Shallow Grave (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Shallow Grave is invariably one of the top 10 mystery/thrillers I recommend to newbies of the genre. The large cult following for this film is most definitely warranted, mainly because it doesn't fall victim to studio executive induced foolishness or its bastard requisite happy ending. This is good film making with taut direction derived from an excellent script.
The entire crux of the film is the question: "When confronted with a large sum of money can friendship survive?" Obviously the answer is a resounding "no". Boyle drops his audience into a frightening and exhilirating situation, makes us care for his characters, and then ruthlessly pummels them with brutal circumstance. We can see a little bit of ourselves in all three main characters which definitely increases our empathy and revulsion at the betrayal and bloodshed.
Shallow Grave is a haunting depiction of paranoia, deceit, murder, and madness that gets better with each viewing.
P.S. Danny Boyle revisits similar ground with his new release "Millions", albeit in a more wholesome, family friendly format.
A movie fan has to love the risks that the independent filmmakers take. Danny Boyle, the same director of `Trainspotting,' did a very nice job with three rather unknown actors at the time - at least in the U.S., Kerry Fox (Juliet), Christopher Eccleston (David), and McGregor (Alex), a quirky and unusual script, a little contemporary film noir, and created an enjoyable little story. Nice work, Danny Boyle.
In synopsis, Juliet, David, and Alex live in a nice four bedroom flat and are conducting a roommate search to pay a fourth of the rent. During a dinner/interview with a prospective tenant, Hugo, played by Keith Allen, the three are impressed, perhaps excessively so, when the potential flat mate brandishes nice wad of pound notes. Very shortly after Hugo moves in, he is not to be seen. Inquisitive Alex (he's a newspaper reporter) leads the charge to break into his room only to find Hugo naked and dead. Then, Alex continues to snoop and finds a substantial cache of money in a suitcase under the bed.
In short, after some very shallow soul-searching, the trio decided to keep the money rather than to report Hugo's death to the authorities. As such, Juliet, David, and Alex David must dispose of the body, Hugo's car, and anything else that could possibly associate the deceased flat mate with the three friends. The disposal proves to be quite a grisly affair, but that is not the least of the trio's problems.Read more ›
In fact, Hugo (Keith Allen) talks to only Juliet before he makes it to a dinner with the boys, where Alex wants to know if Hugo can pay for the flat (a large wad of bills suggests that he can) and David just wants to know if Hugo has ever killed a man (Hugo lies on this point). These answers are sufficient for him to move in, although Hugo is clearly a bit older than they are and is not as amused by the trio's wit as they are. However, the next morning Hugo is lying naked and dead in the red bed, the victim of an overdose. Alex immediately starts checking out everything that Hugo left behind, apparently never thinking that the police might want to take a look at things first. Just as Juliet is about to report the corpse, Alex finds the proverbial suitcase filled with cash. Immediately, Juliet and the boys are reviewing the situation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really love this film. It's quirky and you must pay close attention to the beautiful and colourful apartment. It's so visually interesting and well done.Published 9 months ago by Susan Eastman
It was a funny movie and original movie, certainly worth a watch. I felt it got a little boring though, and I had trouble paying attention as the story line progressed. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brandon
This little film from Great Britain (circa1994) was a genuine surprise (and a real 'find' in the sense of possessing a high-level of quality, originality, and inspired creativity... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Book & Music thief, from HI