Monday, September 26, 2011


‘I was always trying to get lost when I was a kid. I soon found out that you can’t get lost, though.’

I was just sucked into this film the moment I heard its title first time and the film sticks to my belief more than what I expected out of it. Based on short story of Allan Sillitoe, it shows the directionless rebel young man named Colin Smith. He was imprisoned to youth reformatory on charges of burglary at bakery. There he meets a Governor who seeing his prowess, pushed him to win the long distance cross country run. Intermittent flashbacks of Colin’s memory show us the glimpses of his life before he landed up to the reformatory- death of his labourer father, his youthful disillusionment and failure to be a sole breadwinner for his family, his directionless unemployed hang out with a friend and a girlfriend and theft at bakery. 

Director Tony Richardson finely captured Britain of shifting 60s when unemployed and disillusioned rebel youth though heading in mundane pleasures and moving away from familial and patriotic bonding hates  confirming to the authority. Without being melodramatic and too dark, the film kept intact the spirit of positive vibes throughout the film including its brilliant unconventional ending. Instead one can see the moments of light hearted fun runs parallel to the disillusioned young man’s struggle to defy the authority and search his own identity by channeling the aggression and emotional readjustment of his anger and mental restlessness to running.

It’s just second film of this somewhat stoic faced actor Tom Courtney and the man remains so damn natural in his expressions. “It’s not that I don’t like work, it’s that I don’t like the idea of slaving me good self so the bosses can get all the profit. It seems all wrong to me….Thing is, I don’t know where to start, though,” he told to his girlfriend. And I think that’s the story of every thinking modern generation as it was in 1960. Worth to mention is fine Black and White camerawork and that unconventional and effing brilliant end!

An absolutely worth watching nugget of British cinema.


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