Junkhearts (2011)

Junkhearts (2011)
 
 

All Those Lonely People

Eddie Marsan, and Candese Reid in Junkhearts (2011)

Following his time serving in Northern Ireland, Frank (Eddie Marsan) returned home to London a changed man who can't let go of his past at the cost of his marriage and relationship to his family. His lives in a high rise where he only ventures out to replenish his stock of fags and booze which he buys in miniature. It is on one of his excursions down to the off licence that he meets Lynette (Candese Reid), a teenage runaway living rough who out of nowhere Frank takes pity on and invites her to stay at his. Soon these two bond as they look out for each other as if they were father and daughter. But with Lynette comes problems, her boyfriend Danny (Tom Sturridge) is an opportunist dealer. Meanwhile Christina (Romola Garai) a business woman struggles to balance her life as a single mum, sleeping around and drug use.

The Beatles once sang about "All the lonely people" in the great song "Eleanor Rigby" and there are three of those lonely people on show in "Junkhearts", the ex soldier struggling with post traumatic stress, the teenage runaway and the single mum who heads out to do drink and do drugs to cope with her life. And they are three well written characters in the movie "Junkhearts" very different with very clear issues and inevitably their lives end up interlinking.

Romola Garai in Junkhearts (2011)

Now I didn't get blown away by "Junkhearts" and found it a bit of a slog but I was impressed by the acting with the trio of Eddie Marsan, Candese Reid and Romola Garai all putting in captivating performances which lead you to wonder how the inevitable interlinking is going to happen. Sadly it becomes pretty clear quite quickly as to how things will end up connecting which is a shame as it takes part of what is engaging out of the mix.

But "Junkhearts" is something else, it is a movie which has an artistic side where the framing of each shot appears to have been painstakingly thought about and I am sure those who watch cinema as a form of art will enjoy Tinge Krishnan's styling with close ups, blurred shots and creative switching of dreams into reality as we watch Frank struggle with what he once did. But I don't do art and the over choreographed look and superficial styling is not my thing and it spoils what could have been a genuinely engaging British movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Junkhearts" didn't work for me because unfortunately the artistic styling distracted from the story and ended up spoiling what could have been a good movie especially as the acting itself is first rate especially between Eddie Marsan and Candese Reid.

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