A Room For Romeo Brass

"OK"

A Room For Romeo Brass Review


When its focus shifts from two working-class boyhood pals to the precarious friendship one of them shares with a borderline psychotic stalking his sister, "A Room for Romeo Brass" detours from slice-of-childhood English comedy into something darker and much less entertaining.

A semi-autobiographical tale directed by Shane Meadows ("TwentyFourSeven") and co-written with Brian Fraser, his best friend for 20 years, the picture is ostensibly about a rocky patch in the relationship between a pair of once-inseparable neighbor boys.

In the beginning it plays like a life-affirming dramedy in which 12-year-old pranksters Romeo and Gavin (very natural newcomers Andrew Shim and Ben Marshall) escape their various woes and dysfunctional families through their mischievous friendship.

Gavin's row to hoe is some kind of degenerative bone disease that sees him occasionally laid up, sometimes for weeks at a time. Romeo has to cope with an absentee father who shows up from time to time, demanding angrily to be a part of his children's lives.

These are the kinds of stories English filmmakers have a unique talent for telling with deft touches of poignant humor.

But when Romeo becomes friends with Morell (Paddy Considine), a mentally unbalanced 20-something slacker, it becomes impossible for Meadows to maintain the light mood the film (and the audience) had settled in to. We recognize Morell as dangerously twisted, but Romeo doesn't catch on so quickly. He just thinks it's cool that a grown-up wants to hang around with him. It takes a while before the boy recognizes his new friend's hair-trigger temper and obsessive jones for his pretty, petulant sister (Vicky McClure).

The fact that Morell is clearly a ticking time bomb puts the kibosh on the comedy, especially after he goes ballistic in the wake of a practical joke the kids play on him.

Despite this discomforting change in tone, "Romeo Brass" stays engaging on one level because the performances of the mostly unknown cast are impeccable. Meadows likes tapping non-professionals to star in his films, and every character here feels 100-percent authentic.

However, the picture's mood swing amplifies the fact that the story is disjointed. Events and emotions are not clearly tied together. For instance, when Gavin is confined to his bed for a few weeks, Romeo never even visits him, and while it's a point of tension in the movie, his motives for neglecting his best friend are never adequately addressed.

Had Meadows toned down the psycho element -- either by reeling in Considine's alarming performance or having the character neutralized more quickly than he does -- "A Room for Romeo Brass" could have overcome these less significant shortcomings.

But as it is, the enjoyment of the movie is severely dampened by the looming storm cloud of this one intrusively unpleasant personality.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th February 2000

Distributed by: USA Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Morell, as Romeo Brass, Martin Arrowsmith as Dennis Wardrobe, Dave Blant as School Pianist, Darren O. Campbell as Darren, as Male Nurse (credited as Shaun Fields), as Sandra Woolley, as Carol Brass, as Joe Brass, Nicholas Harvey as Neighbour Lad #2, as Bill Woolley, as Steven Laws, as Ladine Brass, as Gavin 'Knocks' Woolley, Joel Morris as Park Lad #1, Johann Myers as Clifford, Tanya Myers as Headmistress, Sammy Pasha as Ambulance Man, Jamahl Peterkin as Neighbour Lad #1, James Tomlinson as Park Lad #2, as Physiotherapist (uncredited)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.