Today: July 18, 2024

44 Inch Chest

From the writers that gave us Sexy Beast and the best of
British cast, this could have been the gangster hit that the UK has
long-awaited but it literally pulls no punches. In fact, all they do is
talk, and talk and talk.

It should have been good: East End hardman Colin Diamond (Winston) and his foulmouthed friends kidnap his wife’s young, French lover (Melvil Poupaud)
to take revenge. Instead we see him filled with self-pity, struggling
with his conscience. Sadly, whilst it shares much in character and dark
insight into the male perspective as with Beast, a film that thrived in
its characters, dialogue and visual flair, 44 Inch Chest falls decidedly flat.

Directed by debut director Venville, much of the film takes
place in one, fairly uninspiring, location thus it feels more like a
piece of theatre simply translated to film. Venville never really allows
his direction to add to the narrative, rather allowing the script to
run away from him. Independently, each scene has almost perfect beats
and moments to truly revel in but as a whole, the film lacks coherence.

But the fun is in the performances.

Winston plays the damaged cuckold with a vulnerability that we
rarely see from his normal tough guy routine. The rest of the stellar
cast fulfils the full spectrum of gangster stereotypes: Wilkinson’s mummy’s boy, the cocky yet insecure likely-lad in Mal (Dillane) whilst comic relief comes in the form of unflappable dandy Meredith (McShane) and homophobic old geezer Peanut (Hurt) when they go at it go toe to toe.

A deeply poignant look into the male psyche with darkly humorous consequences, 44 Inch Chest more than measures up to a hugely engrossing piece of entertainment

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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