Today’s review comes from a recently released DVD. The film is an acclaimed black comedy that was shown back in June at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
The Legend of Barney Thomson also sees the debut of leading man Robert Carlyle helming the production as a director.
The film arrives as an adaption from Douglas Lindsay’s novel ‘The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson’ and starring an incredible British trio
This is Cineroom’s first DVD review for a while, and the film isn’t overly well-known so we thought we’d bring it to your attention. Let’s get into it…
Set in Glasgow, the film centers around Barney Thomson, an awkward, diffident barber living a life of desperate mediocrity whose uninteresting life gets turned upside down when he enters the grotesque and comically absurd world of a serial killer after accidentally killing his boss.
Robert Carlyle, Barney, delivers the awkward and unlucky role astutely alongside his stronger and brash mother Emma Thompson. They both have great chemistry and have ‘killer’ scenes together that make you laugh and admire them. Personally, I am a fan of both so it was a delight for me. The stellar cast continues with Ray Winstone and Ashley Jenson offering their pennies in the pot and they too have great scenes together. They are constantly arguing and slating each other which proves hilarious viewing.
Carlyle is very professional with his directorial debut as he uses ambitious camera shots mixed with point of view scenes blending them really well together. The sequences include fast-paced direction, gun-slinging dialogue that’s razor sharp (barbers, get it?) so it could have easily been a disaster for Carlyle but he holds it altogether.
The very first scenes set up the film perfectly with a calm monologue that’s quite friendly, with images of severed body parts on screen; giving the audience a brief idea of what is about to go down over the next 90 minutes – and let’s face it, there’s nothing that can prepare you for seeing a dismembered penis within the opening minutes of a film.
The humorous scenes continue throughout the film and it confirms the movie as great entertainment and an intelligent comedy. There are a few surprisingly funny sequences but the little quick scenes are the most amusing. For instance, Barney needs a place to dispose of a body and he remembers a difficult-to-get-to spot from years ago but he can’t remember the name of it – so the camera cuts to him at his mother’s house trying to jog her memory for the location - you can’t help but smirk. Especially when a few scenes later the body is sitting in the lounge in bin bags – brilliant.
So from starting with just one altercation in the barber shop – the legend of Barney Thomson began. With a pulsating soundtrack alongside this impressive cast and funny quips – you have a highly enjoyable comedy thriller. This is well-worth a watch,
Cineroom’s rating: 3 Stars
The Legend of Barney Thompson is now released worldwide on DVD – certificate 15