Shallow Grave (Criterion Collection)
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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 ›
But this film 'Shallow Grave' is a perfect 'mish-mash' of pitch-black Comedy, with a dash of murder-mystery, buddy-film, and even modern-day morality play with a smattering of sanity-deterioration/depletion (and even legitimate terror) thrown into the mix, topped-off by sharp-witty dialog and master-thespian interplay (only those super-talented Brits could make such a complex and contradictory mix work so brilliantly!)
There are too many twists-n-turns (of screws and other power-tools), which cannot be safely spoken about here = without giving far too much away (and suffering the demonically-deranged wrath of the 'Chartered Accountant' aka 'CPA' in America - perhaps I've already given too much away, forget what you just heard - but don't forget about this uniquely satirically-terrifying film called "Shallow-Grave"!!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As far as craft is concerned, Shallow Grave is an impressive film. Danny Boyle is a stylish filmmaker and despite the fact that this is his first directorial effort, that style... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Charles Camp
This is the first movie I ever saw Ewan McGregor in... I loved the way the movie was put together and how it was acted... I have watched it Multiple times...Published 1 month ago by J. D. Hisey
Worth the investment of ones time. It actually had something I see but rarely these days, character development.Published 3 months ago by Linda H.
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 12 months ago by Susan Eastman