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'Bronson' Review: Graphic Beyond Belief

'Bronson' Review: Graphic Beyond Belief

Reader Submission Month here at Kulture Shocked has been a blast. We're only a week in and I, for one, have been very pleased. Next up on the list is a film a friend of mine has been telling me that I need to watch, and I'm very glad I did. So without further ado, ladies and germs, we're diving head first into the 2008 bio-pic, Bronson suggested by Steven Romig.

I'm going to preface everything I say here with two things. One, this is a FUCKING weird movie. Two, there is some extraordinary graphic content, including a lot of Tom Hardy's weird looking pecker. 

Bronson tells the tale of Michael Peterson, aka Charles Bronson, Britain's most famous & dangerous prisoner, and explores who he is. It's clear from the beginning this guy has some serious issues for an unexplained reason. The one thing that I really enjoyed was that Nicholas Refn, who directed and co-wrote the screenplay, never attempts to explain why Bronson acts the way he does. This is extraordinary because people nowadays need answers, things simply can't "be".

Tom Hardy takes on the role of Bronson and he's fantastic. I've been mostly critical of Hardy's film career, but his dynamic and powerful performance here is enough to make me interested in seeing Child 44 later this month. The best aspect of his performance has to be his almost vaudevillian stage appearances. The application of stage make up and characters he brings to life are outstanding and provide a level of depth that I want to see more of.

I have to say that my favorite part of this film is the soundtrack. There is not an original score, just a collection of works that fit they're respective cues and the themes are so varied that I was surprised at how cohesive the soundtrack is. They bring so much life and power , even to scenes that, while important to telling the story, would be a chore to plod through.

Bronson has probably made it into one my favorite and important films of 2008. It goes to a lot of places that film is usually hesitant in going to. Normally I try to keep quotes out of my reviews, but Roger Ebert said something while talking about this film that is rather important.

I was reading a theory the other day that a few people just happen to be pure evil. I’m afraid I believe it. They lack any conscience, any sense of pity or empathy for their victims. But Bronson is his own victim. How do you figure that?
— Roger Ebert

That's a horrifying concept, and it is not something we see in film very often. Evil for evil's sake? My stomach is actually turning a tiny bit at the realization and this film pegs and explores it in grotesque and magnificent fashion. I will say this is not a "Must See" film due to how rough this film actually is, however, if you have the stomach for it, I highly encourage that you give Bronson a solid once over.

Final Say: Watch It

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