Netflix Rental: Bronson

Netflix Rental: Bronson

January 31
15:55 2013

Preston Barta
Staff Writer

Bronson, 92 min.
Rated R for violent and disturbing content, graphic nudity, sexuality and language.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by Brock Norman Brock and Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Matt King and Jonny Phillips

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


In 1974, a hot-headed young man named Michael Peterson (Hardy) decided to rob a post office to make a name for himself. Quickly apprehended, Peterson is sentenced to seven years in jail. However, his sentence stretches to 30 years when his personality is supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson.

Short review

“Bronson,” directed by the skull-crushing Refn of “Drive” (2011), is a dramatized account of the life of one of Britain’s most infamous and notorious prisoners. This excellent piece of British cinema provides endless stylistic imagery, great performances and brutal brawls worth the full purchase price.

Many critics, including myself, have hailed this film as the “‘The Clockwork Orange’ (1971) for the 21st Century.” Comparisons to writer-director Stanley Kubrick cannot be denied as Refn handles the material with poise, filling the film with a multitude of slow-motion tracking shots and pans, along with a colorful palette of fun music tracks, including the Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin.”

Bronson, still serving his sentence today, is a mentally perturbed individual who spends his time parading around his cell in the nude and plunging himself into crowds of inmates and prison guards, purely for the sake of self-amusement. One cannot deny that Bronson earned his title of “Britain’s most violent prisoner.”

Hardy, who recently reached stardom with his frightening turn as the evil mercenary Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), fully inhabits Bronson, bringing an unadulterated animalism to the role, which Hardy gained 45 lbs. of muscle for. He has the right edge to inform us of how intelligent, comical and hostile he can be.

“Bronson” is pure entertainment from start to finish, and though it doesn’t provide any moral significance in the acts of lives, it’s a fascinating depiction of one man’s journey into aggression.

“Bronson” is also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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