8.20.2006

English Football Hooliganism


I was pleasantly surprised by my most recent Netflix arrival, Green Street Hooligans. My sister end I sat down to watch it Saturday afternoon, after a LONG day of moving, unpacking and resulting exhaustion. I didn't know much about it, other than a friend mentioned it in passing, so I thought "what the hell, let's add it to my queue." I'm very glad that I did.

Putting aside that this is an incredibly violent and realistically graphic movie, it has gained a place on my top 100 films list (those with a weak stomach for such violence - like me - might need to avert your eyes during some scenes). The Elijah Wood casting, which at first blush might seem odd, was good. You quickly forget the Hobbit Frodo when you see him launch his first punch. It took some getting used to ("Hey, Frodo, you're 3 feet tall hobbit, you might want to rethink punching that beefy Englishman"), but after the first 5 minutes, the Frodo-stigma was shed. And, Charlie Hunnam who played Pete Dunham, the leader of the Green Street Gang (or "firm") was not only very pleasing to the eye, but his balanced portrayal of a brutal street fighter by night, school teacher by day was impressive. I'd never seen him before, but was shocked to learn that he played the nasty-looking albino from Cold Mountain. What I found most unexpected was that this very masculine, testosterone-laden movie was directed by a woman.

Putting aside a somewhat weak script (some admittedly predictable plot twists), the directing and great acting were powerful. This movie moved me. I know - it's odd that it had such an effect on me, but it's probably because as of late, I have been doing some serious thinking about friendship and loyalty (ask me later). Despite the bone crushing, face smashing visceral brutality of the movie, it was a keen portrayal of the loyalty of true friends...even if the individuals in question are street thugs. It is best summed up by this film quote, "You know the best part? It isn't knowing that your friends have your back. It's knowing that you have your friends' back."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Drew said...

Surprised at Elijah Wood's violent streak? Watch Sin City...

2:30 PM

 
Blogger irshal said...

I did see that movie...and Elijah was still a hobbit to me - a clearly deranged and deadly hobbit, but still hobbit-like nonetheless. Not to mention his character was neither human nor male - he was just this weird asexual sicko. So, I guess in GSH, he manages to capture the trifecta - human, somewhat macho (which is a first for him) and non-hobbitlike....

3:26 PM

 

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