'London to Brighton' (2006) 400 Word DVD Review

April 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

It’s early morning, and a women (Lorraine Stanley) and a young girl (Georgia Groome) burst into a public restroom. The woman has a black eye and a cut on her lip; the young girl is distraught. The woman appears to be a prostitute and the girl, perhaps her daughter. They’re in some kind of trouble and appear to be on-the run. Using her profession as a means, the woman manages to scrounge up enough money to find a way of getting them both out of London, via a train to Brighton. Unfortunately, they are being hunted down by the woman’s pimp, Derek (Johnny Harris) and his pal, Chum (Nathan Constance). They, in turn, have been ordered to retrieve the two girls by a man called Stuart Allen (Sam Spruell). Allen’s father is dead, and, it appears, that either the woman or the young girl killed him…

London to Brighton is a low-budget British film which boasts a cast of nobodies and a director I doubt most people would have heard of (Paul Andrew Williams). None of that matters, however, because London to Brighton isn’t just good-for-a-british-film good; it’s a good film — period. The story — also written by Williams — is rather low-key but very well executed; the performances from the two main stars — Lorraine Stanley and Georgia Groome, who play Kelly and Joanne — are excellent.

Somebody made a point about the film being an ultimately painful, depressing experience, only emphasising the nonsensical, vile and violent nature of humanity (and who would want to watch that?). It’s funny that while that person was right, they were also wrong. I did find London to Brighton to be, at times, hard to watch; however, what held a greater impact for me was the way in which it showed how ordinary people can be incredibly brave, loving and noble in extraordinary circumstances.

It’s a dark and depressing film based upon a dark and depressing world, our world, but what came across to me is that even when life can be cruel and uncertain, there is always that flicker of hope, of humanity’s better aspects re-asserting themselves in the face of fear and cowardice. I left the film feeling a little saddened but, also, somewhat elated. How poignant that a film and a story this small somehow captures the essential best and worst of human kind.

(390 words)

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