Release

"Good"

Release Review


This British indie ambitiously mixes religion and sexuality into a melodramatic prison drama. It's a brave, forceful film that touches on some very big issues, although an uneven script and some weak performances undermine its power.

Jack (Brocklebank) is a priest sent to prison for an undisclosed crime that has left him alone with no family and no support from the church. He soon finds a friendly ear in the guard Martin (Summers), and the two begin a secret romance behind bars. But when Jack stands up for his cellmate (Virgo) he gets on the wrong side of the prison thugs, most notably the slimy, prowling Max (Hodges).

Meanwhile, the prison's governess (Skehill) is putting pressure on Martin that will undoubtedly lead to another kind of trouble.

It's clear from the intensely sober tone that a happy ending is unlikely here, and the filmmakers tell the story out of sequence, giving us key details at strategic moments while withholding other information until they're ready to reveal it. This helps build an overall sense of suspense in the plot, but it undermines the depth of character by not allowing us to properly get to know these men. This leaves us struggling to care what happens.

The only person who emerges as a fully rounded person is Jack, and Brocklebank's subtle performance holds the film together. Most of the others are uneven - either under-developed or over-played. This patchiness diffuses the tension in most of the scenes, even though the situations are compelling and sometimes very emotional. The most striking scenes are the dreams and nightmares Jack has about his past, shot in sun-drenched colour that contrasts cleverly with the drab prison sets.

Despite the low budget, the film looks very good, thanks to Simon Pearce's terrific camera work. And it has an unusually introspective tone for a prison film, which keeps us engaged. But the story only really comes together as it touches on themes relating to religion and society, most notably the hypocrisy of people who use their positions of power to manipulate others. On the other hand, a key plot point hinges on a strange moment of moralising that feels badly contrived and may leave viewers unwilling to accept the final series of events.



Release

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 5th May 2002

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Darren Flaxstone, Christian Martin

Producer: Christian Martin

Starring: as Father Gillie

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