This is a pretty amazing movie. Surreal, brutal, occasionally humorous, and sad, particularly when you realize this is someone’s life. This is the story of Charles Bronson, Britain’s most violent prisoner. Born Michael Gordon Peterson to normal parents living a pretty normal life, young Micheal likes to fight. After being sentenced to seven years in prison for robbery as an adult, this enjoyment of fighting becomes more brutal, more a central part of him, and more insane for lack of a better word.
A straight retelling of this incredible interesting and scary person’s life would’ve have been either incredibly dry or overly brutal. Instead it’s portrayed with a mixture of dramatic prison scenes, monologue scenes on a theater stage from the main character, as well as cinema graphic work as disjointed and startling as the man himself.
There is a rawness to this that is at times disturbing. Much like Bronson’s fighting style where he seems to relish receiving the beating as much as giving it. Also the fact that more than once he fights completely nude; a startling contrast to the fully armored up guards.
Tom Hardy is incredible in this role. I’ve only really seen him before as part of an ensemble (Inception, RocknRolla, Layer Cake). He’s barely recognizable in this role and I guess that’s part of what makes him great.