DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Heartless

PlayStation®Network Download Premier: Heartless (18)

Dir. Philip Ridley

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

“I’m the patron saint of random violence…”

Philip Ridley makes a deliciously alternative type of movie – his two previous features The Reflecting Skin (1990) and The Passion Of Darkly Noon (1995), both of which helped introduce the world to Viggo Mortensen but both were serious Marmite ‘love it or hate it’ flicks.

Now Ridley is back and he’s not lost his love of exposing the grotesque, dark underbelly of human nature… Much as David Lynch does so effectively. Indeed Heartless brings deep desires to the screen and twists them into horrific nightmares – this is horror fantasy on a par with films like Pan’s Labyrinth, TV shows like American Gothic or Twin Peaks or the many works of Clive Barker. You could call Heartless:

‘Hellraiser for the Hoodie generation.’

Set against the bleak housing estates and gang turfs of a Daily Mail reader’s nightmare vision of London. Violence and suffering are the order of the day here – as the Satan-alike Pappa B (Joseph Mawle) says:

“Love ain’t eternal… only suffering can be eternal…”

So this is the unhappy tale of young Jamie (Jim Sturgess), a decent enough lad born with a ‘heart’ shaped birthmark on one side of his face. But that is the least of his troubles when he comes up against a brutal gang of fire bombing hoodies – whose ‘demon’ masks are just a little bit too realistic…

Heartless is set to premiere on PlayStation®Network Video Delivery Service simultaneously with the film's release in cinemas. From 21st May, members of the Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEE) PlayStation®Network Video Delivery Service will be able to rent an Exclusive Edition of Heartless, direct to their PlayStation 3 or PSP from only £5.99. The exclusive edition includes Dynamite Sky a 25 minute bonus feature covering the Making of Heartless.

"You might remember me from such films as Angel Heart!?"

I was impressed by the sheer verve and creativity on display here – some people will hate the twisting pretentious plot but those willing to delve into the darkness and invest a little thought energy will come away challenged. The cast are strong and include Noel ‘Kidulthood’ Clarke and the brilliant Eddie Marsan, who plays a character called ‘Weapons Man’ who could have been plucked from The Matrix.

Be warned though that Heartless is not for the faint of heart as it deals in gory death as much as it’s theological issues…

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 creative and thought provoking fire bombs to the brain out of 10)

Official site: www.heartlessmovie.com

Enjoy the PlayStation®Network Video Delivery Service at: http://videostore.uk.playstation.com/

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