Sunday, 16 September 2012

Film Review: JUNKHEARTS (2011)

Junkhearts - poster Director: Tinge Krishnan
Writer: Simon Frank
Running time: 96 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama
UK Release date: 4th November 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 16th September 2012.


I knew very little about this one before I saw it in the TV listings this week. I was a little unsure about this low-budget British movie set in London but decided to give it a look anyway. To be honest I was a little disappointed with it by the end, although there were one or two redeeming features. I’ll tell you more about that after this very brief summary.

Junkhearts - 4 Frank is an ex-soldier who had served in Northern Ireland. He is haunted by acts of violence that he both witnessed and participated in while serving. To numb the pain he has taken to drink. We know that he had been married in the past and he has a daughter who doesn’t want to keep in contact. One day he meets Lynette, a sixteen year old girl living rough. He takes pity on her and takes her home (not in that way). She stays the night and is back on the streets the following day. Frank can’t get her out of his head and he goes out and asks her to come and stay with him. She does and the pair of them form a friendship. Things seem to be going well until Lynette invites her drug-dealer boyfriend, Danny to stay… I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be banging on my door (again).

Junkhearts - 5 Quite well made on a low budget; I did like the use of visual effects though, focus, the use of close-ups and lighting mostly, but quite effective. The performances were all pretty good; I found Eddie Marsan quite believable as Frank and Tom Sturridge was suitably intimidating as Danny. Newcomer Candese Reid as pretty good as Lynette although I’d like to see more of her work before I make a judgement on this performance. Finally there’s Romola Garai who plays Christine, another character, more of her in a moment, she was pretty good also.

Junkhearts - 1 An interesting film with two parallel storylines; one involving Frank and Lynette and the other involving a well-heeled woman called Christine. She is a single mother with a young daughter; she’s seeing a married man and her mother is taken ill. The thing is we don’t see anything more about Christine until quite near the end of the film. I found myself wondering just what was the point of showing us those little fragments of her and then nothing more for about and hour (or so it seemed). But back to Frank; I guess I was hoping for a film along the lines of the rather excellent ‘Harry Brown’, but sadly not to be. Although there are parallels, this one doesn’t take the same course and (I felt) it suffered because of it. It does have some good points though but be prepared to be a tad disappointed by the end.

SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)

My score: 6.0/10

IMDb Score: 5.2/10 (based on 267 votes at the time of going to press).

MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Junkhearts - 2 Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 60/100 (based on 10 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 65/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 137 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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Junkhearts - 6 LINKS:
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Simon Frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Frank said...

Hey Andy,
Thanks for your review of Junkhearts.
A couple of things you might like to know.
Candese Reid, won Best Newcomer at the 2011 London Film Festival, for her role as Lynette.
Junkhearts went on to win Best Picture at the 2012 Moscow International Film Festival, with Eddie Marsan taking Best Actor as well.
It's a film that often polarises opinion - but never leaves anyone without affecting them.
Best wishes,
Simon Frank