Overlooked Film of the Week-#24
When you hear or look up the name Nicolas Winding Refn, you will notice he is the director of "Drive." Its easily the most iconic movie in his filmography so far. Everything else he's done too independent and too strange to be on anybody's radar. Too bad, because "Bronson" is a huge highlight in this guy's career, a great catalog of acting, and just a flat out entertaining movie. Yes, its a very strange film, even a deranged film. But the movie has a sick energy that spills all over the entire production and it is headlined by an actor who went underrated during the whole ordeal.
Today, everybody knows Tom Hardy. Before he became the Tom that we know, he played Charles Bronson in Refn's film. This isn't a biographical film about the actor Charles Bronson but the infamously famous British inmate. Born Michael Gordon Petersen, this boy born into a middle-class family could have been anything he wanted to be. What Petersen wanted was fame, no matter what for, he wanted fame, he wanted to be remembered, he wanted to create something to talk about.
Even if it meant becoming the most dangerous criminal in all of Britain.
The chronicles Michael Gordon Petersen's life as he becomes criminal, to psychiatric patient to amateur, illegal bare-knuckle boxer. The film is narrated from Petersen's point of view, this is what makes the film good in a very weird way. We enter the twisted, disturbing world of Petersen through Hardy's performance. If I were in charge of the Oscars in 2009, I would have given the Lead Actor Oscar to Tom Hardy. I know I've said it before, but I had to say it again. Just like Heath Ledger as The Joker, just like Javier Bardem as Chigurgh, just like Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, Hardy disappears into this role and completely makes it his own. Tom Hardy is a crazy force of nature in this movie, it is the type of character that only the right actor could pull off. It seems Refn found that right actor in Tom Hardy. His performance is so powerful that all the other performances pale in comparison. He turns the film from very good to great in my opinion.
The film is well-staged, well-edited and well-shot. If you enjoyed the music from "Drive," Refn creates an instant iconic soundtrack using a wide variety of music. Not only does the film have a great soundtrack, Refn creates something truly memorable. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of 2013's "Only God Forgives," I firmly believe that Refn will be filmmaker to look for in the future.