Big Fat Gypsy Gangster (2011)

Ricky Grover in Big Fat Gypsy Gangster (2011)

Load of Bulla

After his 10 years stretch inside turned into 16 due to his bad behaviour Bulla, the 'Big Fat Gypsy Gangster' is released and finds himself the focus of a documentary as an American film maker follows him around. But the world has changed since he went inside and the dirty copper who was responsible for putting him behinds bars has been buying up his empire bit by bit. Between his need to teach him a lesson, fights, a need for money and issues of sanity it is only a matter of time before things turn bad for Bulla.

Looking through the list of things which writer, director and actor Ricky Grover has been in there are a couple of mentions of the character Bulla a decade before his appearance in "Big Fat Gypsy Gangster". And it makes me wonder whether having created the character a decade earlier this movie was something which Grover had in the pipeline for a long time having probably been told the character of Bulla was amusing. Maybe back in 2000 and 2001 that was the case or at least in small doses, but a decade later 91 minutes of Bulla borders on the unbearable.

Now how to describe the movie 'Big Fat Gypsy Gangster'? Well there are sort of 3 parts to it starting with the whole documentary thing as we have an American producer follow Bulla around on his release from prison. Sadly whilst a different idea it is also a weak one and as such it certainly doesn't help to keep the movie entertaining. But then we have the part which feels like having watched and been in a few British gangster movies over the previous decade Grover had tried to draw on them for many of the movie's funny scenes such as a bare knuckle boxing in a barn. Sadly this part doesn't work either and even the various familiar faces such as Steven Berkoff, Peter Capaldi, Omid Djalili and Rufus Hound who show up can't make this any better.

But then that leaves me the third part and that is the character of Bulla who between gangster jazz hands to moments of utter madness is one of the strangest characters I have come across. As I said, maybe in small doses back in 2001 Bulla was amusing but 90 minutes of him is incredibly hard work be it the scenes of him going around London or the sudden black and white scenes of him alone speaking to the camera.

What this all boils down to is that "Big Fat Gypsy Gangster" was not for me and whilst I am sure Ricky Grover put a lot of work into this movie the end result is 91 minutes of grating nonsense. Sadly for me the character of Bulla probably works best in small doses and 91 minutes was beyond what was bearable.