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Saturday, July 16, 2011

305. Treacle Jr

    It was the intention to make massive inroads into everyfilm this weekend but sadly, Mrs W's mother lies critically ill in hospital.
    Despite, what may seem evidence to the contrary, family does come above the movie quest.
    However, we have now come home, the kids are at Harry Potter and so I've taken the chance of a rare moment of quiet in a ghastly weekend to take in Jamie Thraves' most unusual Treacle Junior.
    And while I wasn't totally convinced by the movie overall, I have to doff my hat in the direction of one of the performances of the year by Aiden Gillen.
    Gillen plays the perfect foil to the film's central character Tom (Tom Fisher).
    Tom, in a fit of depression, has taken a train, leaving in his wife and child in Birmingham, to roam the streets of London.
    There he is set about by a gang of thugs and goes to A & E and meets Aiden.
    Gillen's character is joyfully positive to the point of considerable naivity. Life throws all sorts of spears at him by they don't have any lasting effect on his sunny attitude.
    Most people, however, don't understand his loud attempts to be friendly, thinking he is either mad or taking the mickey. This includes his foul-mouthed 'girlfriend' Linda (Rian Steele) who treats him like a slave and beats him up.
    Gillen's wide-eyed performance with thick Irish accent and pronounced lisp is about as far away from his roles in Blitz and Wake Wood as one could imagine.
    But he has long and rightly been recognised for his versatility.
    He is the yin to Tom's yang.
    Tom might have been successful in terms of money-making but he can scarcely communicate and is as miserable and Aiden is happy.
    At first he wants to run a mile from him but soon realises the true kindness of the child-man.
    There is an interesting sensitivity about Treacle Jr and Jamie Thraves has hit upon an worthwhile concept in tackling a man who has everything but lives with depression against the man who has nothing except an infectious smile.
    But it takes a long time before it really hits the mark and many of the early scenes lack the clout of what is to come later.
    Also, none of the other actors comes anywhere close to Gillen. Thus, it lacks overall consistency.
    There is, however, merit to Treacle Jr, not least a staggering performance by Gillen.
    Rating? 6/10.

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305. Treacle Jr

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