Bronson (2008 – Blu-Ray)

Look, love. No one gives a toss about Charlton Heston. The man’s a cunt. You’re more of the Charles Bronson type”

My recent viewings of Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ and Tom Hardy’s excellent scenes in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ reminded me that I should catch up with 2008’s ‘Bronson’.  It’s the life story of Michael Gordon Peterson (aka Charles Bronson) the “Most violent prisoner in Britain” who was first incarcerated in 1974 and is still behind bars today.

The Blu-Ray begins with the unusual option of listening to a rambling and menacing 15 minute audio intro from Bronson himself controversially recorded for the film’s premier without the knowledge of HM Prison Service.  Aside from a great Synth led soundtrack, ‘Bronson’ shares no similarities to Refn’s recent ‘Drive’ which is a great prospect for the variety of his future films.  I’d liken it most to Terry Gilliam’s ‘Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas’ in terms of its flare, colourful theatrical style and blending of outlandish fiction and outlandish fact.  Tom Hardy’s central performance is astonishing (As always!) for which he put on 19kg of muscle and talked with Bronson himself to get the look and sound just right.  Bronson even claims in the audio introduction that he shaved off his famous moustache and actually gave it to hardy to wear in the film!  By the end of ‘Bronson’ I’d enjoyed a dazzling feast for the eyes and ears but I wasn’t sure I’d learnt anything lasting from it.

You’ve gotta love a trailer cut to Pet Shop Boys:


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