Mike Hodges made his presence felt with his shocking and hard hitting gangster film ever made in British cinema. But along with ‘Get Carter’, he made few other brilliant thrillers too which remained unnoticed for many cinebuffs. I’ve seen his ‘Croupier’ couple of months ago, which is an extraordinary film starring Clive Owen in one of his best performance. Owen is in lead here too and Hodges brilliantly executed this serious vengeance thriller with his unique style exploring sound and image rather than dialogue or narration and still built the tension so damn well. He brought to screen the striking uninhibited brutal side of crime world and indifferent seedy side of the city at night capturing those dark alleys, streets, walls, roads and other exteriors like classic noirs.
Will Graham is a fierce man who doesn’t talk to any living things for days and weeks, surviving as a wild drifter in his van like a ghost or vigilante trusting no single soul. He’s stepping back to the city and the world of crime he abandoned three years ago when he comes to know about his younger brother’s gruesome suicide death. Now he’s got one sole aim to discover the reason behind it which is disgustingly and disturbingly shocking one physically as well as psychologically. The plot is just peripheral, just watch the film how Hodges dealt with its treatment with style; the first half and hour is just establishing the mood and tone. Watching ‘Croupier’ and this one, I must say Clive Owen gave his two most memorable and stellar performances collaborating with Hodges. This is his fine minimalist act, just like Jim Jarsmusch and Jean Pierre Melville films.