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Tragedy Without Reprieve
on August 23, 2013
In a broken and dysfunctional world lives a young girl whose innocence and child-like wonder are besieged on every side by violence, desire and a multitude of human frailties.
In a very strange way "Broken" reminds me of another sort of coming of age film wherein the central character is both a young girl and the witness to tragedy; i.e. "To Kill a Mockingbird". Both Skunk and Scout (looking quite alike in appearance now that I think about it) are self-reliant and optimistic, both are being raised by single fathers (also lawyers) aided by live-in housekeepers but Gregory Peck was a paragon of wisdom and virtue, typically having a positive effect on tough situations whereas Tim Roth is just struggling to hold onto sanity and his family's safety which is his primary motivation for trying to maintain some peace in his neighborhood. I suspect that director Rufus Norris in bringing a story about hope in the midst of despair to the Cannes Film Festival unwittingly created a disturbing glimpse into a society where adults find goodness only in the fragile hearts of children.
While Broken is both a well-acted and riveting drama, it descends maybe a bit too much into social degradation to be very inspiring and although it has some touching moments I can't say this is a film I'd care to watch a second time. :o)