Synopsis: Colin Diamond has friends and when his wife’s infidelity shatters his ego his mates kidnap her lover and hold him under wraps for an exacting punishment. Only the lot of them, Cockney and carried away, exasperate the situation as Colin wrestles with a gamut of emotions including whether or not to kill him or just get up off the floor.
Meat & Potatoes: If you haven’t seen Sexy Beast, Louis Mellis and David Scinto (writers) precursor to this film, please run run run and rent it now! Ray Winstone (109+ films and counting) and Ian McShane (Deadwood’s Swearengen) who made Sexy Beast the outstanding movie that it was, return here with the ever standout John Hurt (The Proposition, Heaven’s Gate, Nineteen Eighty Four, Etc. ), the top-notch Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, The Bedroom, Etc.) and long time character actor Stephen Dillane (The Hours, Freak Dog ). I’m reminded of stage-play-movies like Dogville (without the pseudo play within a movie trappings) and Hurly Burly – or even Glengarry Glen Ross. You might also consider Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch (both penned by Guy Ritchie) but without the silliness, cockney accents (wonderfully realized by English actor Stephen Graham) or wild and adventurous plots. Mainly 44inch Chest works because of the superb dialogue and the extended scenes between immensely talented actors that demand them to well, act. You don’t see a lot of young actors doing these kinds of movies for a reason. These characters are not only believable but relatable down to their very swagger. We feel for Ray Winstone as the jealous husband who cannot pick himself up from the floor when his marriage falls apart. We feel it when John Hurt’s Old Man Peanut character rips into him rather nastily, trying to rouse or snap him out of an all-consuming depression. It’s a shame that films like this take ten years to make and even more disappointing that they are often overlooked or overshadowed by the likes of boy wizards and teenage vampires. True craft occurs here, in the muck and mire of believable human emotions that connect us and remind us that life is a many splendored thing replete with thorns, pot holes, and rainbows.
The Closer: The only draw back I can see with this style of filmmaking is losing the audience that requires quick cuts, naked women with machine guns, oh and car chases to call a movie a movie. However disproportionately large or small they might be, I call this a movie you’ll enjoy watching and look forward to watching again.