Starting off with a brutal act of violence, we are left knowing what sort of film we are about to experience with ‘Villain, directed by Phil Barantini and written by George Russo (Turnout) and Greg Hall ( Dangerous Mind of A Hooligan) and we arent wrong. What we (the audience) experience over the next 90 or so minutes is a gritty, brutal, realistic, but also highly entertaining crime drama which although features a lot of the common hallmarks of a lot of British crime films ( lapdancers, swearing, shooters and bar fights) Villain is still a wonderfully put together film that breathes new life into what some may class as a well trodden storyline ( ex-criminal gets drawn back into the old world) Taking a short while to get up the plot (and the film benefits from this as it gives you time to get to know the characters before the ‘touch paper is lit’ and the film takes us on a gritty journey right up to the end titles.
The cast give great performances in the film with my standouts being George Russo as Sean who plays the role of the ‘screwup’ brilliantly with his puppydog ‘okay i know ive made mistakes’ eyes which of course has a knock on effect for his brother Eddie played by Craig Fairbrass. Sean and Eddie are a great pairing and are of course is the main plot point of the story primarily following Eddie as he gets out of jail to begin a quiet life but quickly finding out that things havent been as well looked after as they should have been by Sean. And thats an understatement. Eddie is most certainly not having a great time on the ‘outside’
My second standout is Izuka Hoyle (Mary Queen of Scots,Jerk and who will be seen in the future film Boiling Point) as Chloe Franks. Whilst she only has a few scenes in the film, each one is pivotal to a very emotional side plot in the film and gives several of the characters motivation for their own plot points) Izuka is definitely an actor to keep an eye on and is a great addition to Villain
The real star of the film for me is Director Philip Barantini who I have seen a lot on screen over the years in the classic HBO series ‘Band Of Brothers’ and Chernobyl and also in one of my favourite UK films ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’, to name just a small amount of his appearances. Whilst Philip has filmed a couple of short films in the past year, I was very excited to see what a Directed by Philip Barantini feature film would look like and I have to say (well I dont HAVE to, but I want to) I was wonderfully impressed and cant wait to see Boiling Point, which is in pre-production and will see Philip reunite with Izuka, but also add Jason Isaacs and Stephen Graham to the cast list.
My congratulations to the cast and crew of Villain, a great start to my film viewing weekend