Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Angels' Share (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

The Angels' Share

Director Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) directs this charming and quip-filled dramatic comedy about small time delinquents and their obsessions with a whiskey distillery in Scotland. Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is an angry young man in a gang-style feud with a neighborhood family. He is on a dead end street with little possibility for any satisfaction, but he does have friends and they stick up for him. There is the bumbling Albert (Gary Maitland), the silent Rhino (William Ruane) and last but not least, the punchy Mo (Jasmin Riggins). Door after door closes for Robbie, but on an outing with his friend Harry (John Henshaw) he gets an idea to get his hands on some prized liquid amber, specifically a cask of rare Malt Mill whiskey.

Notable character-actor Roger Allam puts on a good show as Thaddeus, a sneaky whiskey collector, of all things.

Much of the fun is due to the sheer number of irreverent wisecracks in the tradition of Alan Parker's "The Commitments" (1991). The dialogue alone will have you hooting with laughter which is quaint in its rudeness, but not all that offensive. Entertaining as well is watching the slinky Robbie as he hatches his scheme. Look out also for some good humor involving some ultra serious whiskey imbibers, juxtaposed against some Scotch slapstick.

Although the drama handles some very real issues of anger, economic woes and crime, the tone is consistently lighthearted and it fits together just fine. Some solid acting throughout holds everything together and while you might guess what's coming ahead of time, by the end of the film you'll see this quirky bunch of Scotsmen as your good friends.

Write Ian at redtv_2005@yahoo.com

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