Sunday, 29 August 2010

Film Review: Cemetary Junction

Cemetary Junction is written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, which sounds great on paper - afterall I loved the Offfice and Extras - but after watching the truly awful The Invention of Lying (Gervais' film directorial debut) I wasn't sure what to expect. The synopsis explains the basics:

"70s England is in full swing as three outcast friends find themselves drinking, joking, fighting and chasing girls, while dreaming of escape from their blue-collar hometown of Cemetery Junction. Freddie (Christian Cooke) is a salesman suddenly thrown onto the fast track when he gains the attention of his boss, Mr. Kendrick (Ralph Fiennes). Torn between a prior life of partying with his friends (Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan) and the promise of a brighter future, life gets more complicated when the bosses daughter becomes the focus of Freddie’s affection. Also starring Ricky Gervais and Emily Watson."
I needn't have worried because I really enjoyed this film. I was a teenager in the '70s so it was great to see all the fashions and hear the fantastic soundtrack, but although the props and the scenes are all totally accurate for that era (so much so, I even recognised the identical wallpaper from my own teenage bedroom in one of the scenes) this is a film set in the 70s rather than a film about the 70s. The distinction being that the storyline is more important than the decade it's set in, and the fashions etc. don't distract from that. 

Ricky Gervais plays Freddie's father and while he doesn't get a huge amount of screen time his scenes are amongst the funniest. Even so, I wouldn't describe this as a comedy - I felt it was more of a drama with some humour.  The whole cast is superb especially Anne Reid as the Grandma and Emily Watson as the repressed wife of Freddie's boss (the creepy Ralph Fiennes). The actors playing the three friends - ambitious Freddie, cool but troubled Bruce and the socially inept Snork - were unknowns before making the film but are all very convincing in their roles. Proof of that is in the final scene between Bruce (Tom Hughes) and his dad. No words are spoken but the scene packs a big emotional punch.

All in all, a really enjoyable film. Recommended.

Cemetary Junction is rated 15, and is out on DVD and Blu-ray on August 30th. The trailer below is also rated 15 due to a bit of language, so you might want to watch it when the children aren't around.

This is a sponsored post.  Blu-ray, image and trailer supplied by Sony.