For Reel

Meantime (1984)
July 7, 2017, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Mike Leigh
3.5 Stars
MeantimeDirector Mike Leigh first came into the spotlight with Meantime, a brutal, aimless slice of social realism set in Thatcher’s England. In the film, two brothers (Phil Daniels and Tim Roth) navigate life in an unemployed, government-supported household. Colin (Roth) seems to have something mentally wrong with him, with his disaffected, open maw serving as a mask against the abuse that he takes, whereas Mark (Phil Daniels) is arrogant and mean-spirited, often picking fights with both his brother and parents. The leader of this chain of abuse, however, is Coxy (Gary Oldman), a skinhead grifter whose anarchist disposition resonates with the embittered Mark. In this world, not only are the lower class living in absolute squalor, but it seems as if everyone is using somebody else as a vessel for their anger—only by belittling each other can they let their pain out into the world. Colin, whose seeming ambivalence sometimes seems ideal considering the alternatives, is the physical manifestation of his world, burrowing deeper into a sofa with no hope of escaping.

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