Sunday, 29 January 2012

Film Review: 44 INCH CHEST (2009)

44 Inch Chest - poster Director: Malcolm Venville
Writers: Louis Mellis, David Scinto
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

Genre: Drama/Crime
UK Release date: 15th January 2010

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 28th January 2012.


This is one of those films I have wanted to see for some time now. From the writers of ‘Sexy Beast’ (a film I very much enjoyed) I was really looking forward to more of the same. I can see where they were going with it, but it didn’t quite have the same impact as their previous effort. I think the idea was solid enough, but what they did with it really didn’t quite work out (for me). I will tell you more after this brief summary.

44 Inch Chest - 3 When Colin Diamond’s wife, Liz, tells him she’s leaving him for another, he is devastated. He gets her to give him the name of the other man and he, and some friends, take him to a room for a talk. It is here where the majority of the action takes place. Even before the man is brought out of the cupboard they have him stashed in we have some quite explicit dialogue and flashbacks of what had transpired in the previous 24 hours. Colin’s ‘colleagues’, Meredith, Old Man Peanut, Archie and Mal have already softened ‘Loverboy’ up for him, but now it’s up to him to decide what’s to be done. Asking the others to leave the room, he talks through the various options open to him. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be looking into the disappearance of that waiter a few months back.

44 Inch Chest - 1 A very well made film with some very colourful characters and some great dialogue, but it does have the look and feel of a stage play. I guess this is because the majority of the action takes place in one room. One thing I cannot fault is the performances; everyone was superb! And so special mentions go to; Ray Winstone as Colin Diamond, Ian McShane as Meredith, John Hurt as Old Man Peanut, Tom Wilkinson as Archie and Stephen Dillane as Mal.

44 Inch Chest - 4 There is an awful lot of dialogue in this film and much of it contains extreme swearing, but much of it I found was quite philosophical. I think the trouble is, there’s far too much of it and, at times, it doesn’t help the story move along very smoothly. I found the ‘hallucination’ scenes very confusing and they got more bizarre the longer they went on! It ended up being quite a strange film in the end that left me kind of flat. I can’t really recommend it for that reason, but if anyone out there feels like giving it a look I’d be interested to hear what you made of it.

My score: 5.7/10

IMDb Score: 5.8/10 (based on 3,175 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 40/100 (based on 77 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 36/100 (based on 13,005 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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44 Inch Chest - 6 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Warning: Strong Language.
Archie: Are you hearing this? What you've done? What you're responsible for? Are you proud of yourself? Was it worth it? All this pain.
Mal: Fucked his wife. Fucked his fucking wife. You fucking wife-fucker, you. You fucked his fucking wife, you wife-fucking cunt. Another man's wife. Are you stupid, are you fucking thick, you cunt? Fuck another man's wife? You don't do that. It ends in this. This. This is where it ends. You listening, you hearing me? Shitter? Little shitter?
Archie: You should have got your own fucking wife to fuck!
Mal: You're in deep shit mate. You're in the worst possible place a man could find himself.

Colin Diamond: I want you dead. I think you owe me that. I do. Because that's what you've done to me. You've fucking killed me.

44 Inch Chest - 5 Colin Diamond: I bet she's never farted in front of you, has she? Has she? No- I thought not. I mean, that's not romantic, is it? You just want the perfume clouds, the romance, the magicalness of it all- the false crap. Well, I've got news for you, Sonny Jim- that's not love. Love's hard work, hard graft. Love can be murder. Love is watching what she wants to watch on the telly, taking her the papers and a cup of tea on a Sunday morning in bed and inquiring to how she might be feeling, "You all right, Liz?" whilst plumping up her pillows. And she might get irritated by that, but you gotta take it on the chin and broad shoulders, because she's the queen, and you're the bee- the Dad. And so what if you cook the dinner and you get no thanks for it? Don't do it if you expect thanks. That's not why you do it. And yes, you forgot the dripping tap for ten years, and then one day- for whatever reason, fuck knows why- you get off your fat ass and you find yourself under the sink with a spanner in your hand and you're smiling like fuck- because you know it's gonna please her. And if she don't notice it, she don't notice it- it don't matter. It's fixed. It's plumbed. It's the maintenance of a marriage, the nuts and bolts, the nitty gritty, the reality- that's life, that's love, it ain't easy- nobody ever said it was gonna be easy. It's fucking hard work. But, you know, love can be... lovely. One day, you'll be in the bathroom, having a shave in front of the mirror, all soap on your face, and you feel her approaching you. She's hung a pair of tights, hanging on the radiator. And as she leaves, she pats you on the bum and gives you a tiny smile- almost not a smile- but a smile nevertheless. And it will mean the world to you- the whole. incredible world- the fucking universe.

(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
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