cast&crew Cillian Murphy, Tim Roth and Eloise Laurence
Broken follows the inhabitants of a claustrophobic North London cul-de-sac, primarily through the eyes of 11 year old Skunk (Eloise Lawrence) and her surrounding neighbours. After Skunk witnesses a savage attack, a chain of corrosive events are set into play that cavort with the many forms of love, violence and (hence the films namesake) ‘Broken’ people, personalities and relationships.
The first hour meanders along nicely as we’re treated to hearty performances and interesting plot topics exploring everything from sex, rape and teenage pregnancy to mental illness and depression. All of this beats along to a brilliantly simple, hauntingly childlike soundtrack (think Juno).
Unfortunately, the last act of the film is where the seams loosen. The provokingly byzantine saunter through a modern society that encourages growing up fast, is cast aside in favour of an all encompassing coup de grace finally, more resembling an episode of ‘Shameless’ than a coming of age drama.
The ensemble cast of Hollywood heavies are solid, without ever having to stretch their wings and the excellent Eloise Lawrence makes this alone worth a watch. All in all a keen British drama, just don’t expect the punch of ‘Tyrannosaur’ or the knockout blow of ‘This is England’.
Broken is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.