The Angels' Share (2012) Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly, John Henshaw, Gary Maitland Movie Review

The Angels' Share (2012)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Paul Brannigan in The Angels' Share (2012)

Loach's Whisky Galore

With his girlfriend Leonie (Siobhan Reilly) just about to go in to labour Robbie (Paul Brannigan) is fortunate to receive the mercy of the court and is given one more chance to clean up his act and placed on community payback under the supervision of Harry (John Henshaw). The trouble is that even though Robbie wants to go straight for his girlfriend and his child trouble follows him be it the local gangs who are after his blood or Leonie's family who think he is trouble and beat him up in order to scare him off. With no chance of being able to better himself when there is trouble all around him Robbie agrees to take part in a job to steal some rare whisky in order to secure himself the money and options to leave Glasgow with Leonie and their son and go somewhere to start a fresh.

"The Angels' Share" is Ken Loach giving us realism and comedy something which he is exceptional at doing. What it also means is that as a Ken Loach movie and in particular this movie it is incredibly easy to review because we have three elements. The first of these is style and once again we are presented with a documentary style where the camera rarely moves in close up but stays on the wall of the rooms making us observers of what is going on. But it never feels dry like a documentary because whilst we are presented with realism it is an interesting and eventful realism. In a scene where Robbie has to see a victim and his family you can feel everything which everyone feels in that room from Robbie's shame and remorse to the anger of the victim's mother.

John Henshaw in The Angels' Share (2012)

The second element in "The Angels' Share" is the humour and whilst there are some aspects of manufactured comedy especially when it comes to the criminals pulling off a crime which is reminiscent of what we use to get in Ealing comedies most of it is more natural. A scene where Robbie and Harry sit down to celebrate him becoming a dad by having a drop of vintage whisky only for Robbie to say it is disgusting makes you laugh because of Harry's switching around of words so he calls him something similar to Philistine.

But then there is the third element and it is the depth as Loach shows us the viciousness of life when you are born on the wrong side of the track the chances are you won't escape it. If you play by the rules you get nowhere because no one will give you a chance and if you break the rules and fall in with the wrong crowd the chances are you will always be having to break the rules to get by and then have to deal with he law. It is a wonderful insight in to life and done in an entertaining way.

What this all boils down to is that "The Angels' Share" is a wonderful movie, easy to watch, amusing and also with a subtle depth which makes it a complete movie which will suck you in and keep you interested.