8/10 The banality of evil. Middle-aged real-estate agents and underaged schoolboys kicking the shit out of each other because of some sport (I know it much deeper than that). Majestic performance by Gary Oldman, who plays a boy trapped in a body of a man, craving for blood and respect, punching the pillow while screaming his nemesis name. Extremely well directed by mister Clarke; those long shots!
Although filmed with Clarke’s customary dispassion this particular exercise occasionally tips over into stereotype and sour hyperbole with some gratuitous details - at least in the Director’s Cut - which alienate rather than illuminate. Perhaps this was the aim but unlike Scum there’s no righteous sense of injustice and little insight into the mechanics of organised hooliganism, just the un-nuanced outputs.
Clarke's formal proclivities work fascinatingly well against a more traditional narrative structure--the arc builds towards an established climax & epilogue. Such structure in no way weakens Clarke's investment in stylistic abstraction, but proves rather that the stubborn stylist--as easy 2 detect as Ozu--can work in different narrative modes. Identification is still a complex issue, as is the use of tracking camera.
The most privileged and by far the most pathetic characters of study, of any Clarke film thus investigated, yet unflinching in it's veracity, the last scene the pot calling the kettle black, cementing British hopelessness and material emptiness. Steadicam walking, following, again A+. Bonus: Leigh regular Lesley Manville as rightfully pissed off wife.
Mesmerising. Gritty, rough around the edges, the film is led by Gary Oldman's performance and conducted by Alan Clarke's exceptional direction. The walking theme, screenplay, cinematography and long takes all shine within the backdrop of a grey and bleak 1980s London for many. In some ways this is a kitchen sink Clockwork Orange. Regardless, this is British realism at it's finest.
A director who doesn't condemn his characters but asks why these people act the way they do; why they have to look to violence and intimidation to satisfy their lives; how the institutions we are bound to drive us to these extremes. No British director has ever told the harsh truth with as much humanity and compassion as Clarke and his influence is imprinted in every 'social realism' film directed in Britain today.
The moment you watch an Alan Clarke film--especially Elephant--you know he is 100% confident of what he's doing. And as the film progresses, you become even more convinced that he's mapped out the entire film in exactly the way he wants. There is such a logical structure to his filmmaking, that seems so simple but brilliant at the same time.
The Firm is a completely uncompromising and ruthless look into the world of modern day Football Hooliganism as we know it, specifically from the standpoint of The Inner City Firm. The violence portrayed is often brutal but never glorified; The Firm has, and should be the main point of reference for other films in the niche genre of Football Hooliganism. ‘’It’s all about belonging’’.
Sólo dura una hora con siete minutos (es una película para televisión) y es una vaina explosiva. Gary Oldman por supuesto es el puto amo. Y Alan Clarke es el papá de los helados. A este pana le gustaba tocarle las pelotas a la censura en Inglaterra, cada vez que el mister terminaba una película los pingüinos de la censura se hacían pupú.