Pinkie is a youthful rebel who’s trying to go up in the mob’s ranks. His life of organised crime gets him into more trouble than he hoped for and when the innocent waitress figures out what’s going on, Pinkie needs to keep her silent, before he gets himself sent to prison. Naive and in love, Rose allows Pinkie to woo her until they finally have a shotgun marriage, all in the hopes that she’ll keep her silence. Ida has her suspicions over Pinkie though and her worries for the sweet Rose intensify the deeper the relationship between the youths become. She knows he’s up to no good, but nothing that Ida says or does seem to register with Rose… will she succeed in keeping Rose safe? Will Ida succeed in getting Pinkie put behind bars?
Brighton Rock is a British mob film that has a lot of noire qualities to it, which makes for a very entertaining film, but also give it that niche feeling. Set in the 1930′s, Brighton Rock was originally a novel that was written by Graham Greene and the first film adaptation of this popular novel was made in 1947. Ever since it’s first release, the novel has had many adaptations, from musicals to radio shows, however as far as this particular adaptation goes we are presented with a convincing performance from the main characters and a story that would give The Great Gatsby a good run for its money. That being said, this adaptation is not set in the 1930′s as in the novel, in fact it is a plot that got relocated to the mods and rockers subculture, which divided Brighton especially in the 1960′s. Rowan Joffe’s version of Brighton Rock is for all intent and purposes more like a re-imagining instead of a remake, setting it in a different time, but keeping the elements that makes Brighton Rock a story of revenge, deceit and love. The naiveness of Rose and the mixed emotions towards her that Pinkie shows gives it a particular flair as well as a star-crossed lovers theme that comes through, making it a dark and twisted Romeo and Juliet tale for a different era. What was particularly intriguing though was the scenery of the film.
We are also presented with beautifully contrasting scenes that move from Brighton to Eastbourne as locations where the film plays off, what’s more is that the outside British scenery is contrasted with a mob-like poverty stricken inside at times. Whoever did the location searches for the film definitely knew what he/she was doing and as such makes for an aesthetically pleasing watch.
As a fan of noire films it’s only fitting to say that there is certainly a lot of love that went into the film. Helen Mirren (Ida) was as professional and beautiful in the film as always and Sam Riley (Pinkie) was convincing in his role as the confused and ambitious mobster. Andrea Risenborough (Rose) gave a performance that would linger for a long time in the viewer’s mind and Rowan Joffe, the director of Brighton Rock, was able to capture the essence of the time flawlessly on screen. Considering all of these elements being a part of the feature film, it’s a treat to watch.
For those who are looking for a crime drama to watch will find that Brighton Rock is perfect to add to their collections of noire films. To purchase your copy of Brighton Rock, please click here or on the image to be taken to an online store.