A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)

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Not another British film? Unfortunately yes, still continuing the unintentional British film theme I watched A Room for Romeo Brass (1999) on Saturday night. This is an early film from Midlands director Shane Meadows who directed Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) and This is England (2006) and I have to say that I enjoyed this film more than the latter. Once again Meadows shows that he has a great eye for talent, casting Andrew Shim as Romeo Brass. Usually I find child actors to be precocious and a major annoyance but this is never the case in Meadows’ films.

Romeo and his friend Knocks befriend a strange local man, played by the always wonderful Paddy Considine, who turns out be stranger than they originally thought. This is a very funny film but it also has some very dark, unsettling undertones. Considine is equally amusing and terrifying in his role as Morrell. I promise that you will never forget his love poem that he offers Romeo’s sister:

“One beat, two beat three beat, sugar beat. Four beat, five beat, six beat, wheat-a-beat. Seven beat, eight beat, nine beat, heartbeat. My heartbeat, my heart is beating for you.”

Somehow funny and creepy at the same time. Bob “It’s good to talk” Hoskins appears in an unusually understated role that will surprise many. I really cannot believe that this film was not more successful which is probably a good thing as Dead Man’s Shoes, Meadows finest film to date, would not have been made. The DVD can be purchased from HMV for a measly ??4.99 delivered. Even though it has a non-anamorphic transfer is still has nice picture quality and some good extras including a Shane Meadows commentary.

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