09/10/2012

Film Review: Pusher

PusherThe remake of the 1996 film Pusher is about to hit our big screens. To make things simple it's called Pusher, and even has some of the original cast. But this version is set in London, a location that lends itself well to the story. I'm not sure the London tourist board will be showing this drug culture film to bring people in though. Well, it would bring some people in, with lots of stuff crammed up their cavities.

The original Pusher was violent and gritty, and this one has those elements, but I'd say the better description is "stylish". There's a fight scene in a club that turns into dancing halfway through. It's West Side Story filtered into constituent parts.

The film certainly doesn't have the feel of a musical though. It's more like Human Traffic. Richard Coyle plays the titular drug pusher, called Frank (...talk to Frank). His performance is stunning in this. It's like a marathon. He's in every scene, putting the effort in as his character drops to some pretty dark depths. I bet he needed a lie down after this film.

Frank's life starts out looking good. He's making some money pushing, he has a best mate Tony (Bronson Webb – doing a bit of a Rhys Ifans in Notting Hill), and he's dating Flo (Agyness Deyn). And if you're dating someone who looks very much like a famous model, you don't have that much to complain about.

But then things start to go wrong. He gets in trouble with Milo (played by Zlatko Buric again, who is so good I think he should get his own spin-off sit-com). Frank just keeps making mistake after mistake. He owes Milo a lot of money and he has two days to repay it. It's a shame it was written in 1996, before Wonga.com existed.

Seeing a film set and filmed in London in a cinema in London probably added to my enjoyment. There's nothing like seeing your bus home used in a scene to make it seem so real.

It's pacy, it's stylish, and it's delightfully British. If you have never seen the original, watch this film, it means you don't need subtitles. Some people have said this film is like a modern day Trainspotting. And if you have never seen Trainspotting, watch this film, it means you don't need subtitles.


Pusher is released in the UK on October 12th 2012.

Hear details of the red carpet premiere when I appear on the Sunny and Shay Show on BBC London 94.9 Saturday (13th) after 8pm.

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