WHAT A LAUGH!

by evseymour

Last week, I had one of those low energy moments. I’d gone to bed tired, slept and woke up tired and wired, if that isn’t too much of a contradiction. Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, I’d got a number of plates spinning and was in danger of at least one of them whizzing off and smashing over my head. So by the end of that particular day, I could just about string a sentence together but didn’t have the aptitude, or the desire, frankly, to sit down and read anything, let alone a good book. Help was at hand. My other half had spotted the signs of my imminent crash and burn and, after one hell of a pep talk, plonked a DVD in my hand. ‘We’re watching this tonight.’

Now I’m not Jude Law’s greatest fan, but oh my goodness, he gave a storming performance, dare I even say a Dom Perignon of a show, in ‘Dom Hemmingway’. The opening scene has to rate as one of the most bizarre I’ve clapped eyes on in ages. Picture this, if you dare, Dom in prison giving a soliloquy in praise of his… ahem… member (cock, if you want to use Dom’s description). It goes on for ages, as does the blowjob he’s given. Now, before you think what poor taste and I’ve scraped the barrel, the writing was exceptional and vaguely reminiscent of the fabulous Shakespearean style passages spouted by Ian McShane in ‘Deadwood’. If you watch ‘Dom Hemmingway’, you’ll see, in a brilliant piece of plotting, that Dom’s private bits have a star role in a climactic scene and not at all in the way you’d expect.

So what the hell is the film all about, you may ask. Well, foul-mouthed Dom is out of prison having kept his mouth shut for twelve years. His silence has nothing to do with loyalty and everything to do with what loyalty will buy on his release: loot, and lots of it from his Russian gangster employer. Things don’t go according to plan and Dom, who has a combustible temperament, is in grave danger of cocking it up (no pun intended). Only his sidekick, Dickie, magnificently played by a long-faced and long-suffering Richard E Grant, can save him from his tendency towards self-destruction. Amazingly, there is a hidden story that is utterly heart-warming: Dom’s clumsy attempts to make up with his daughter for all the bad years he put her through. It’s not clichéd. It’s not cheesy. It’s credible and provides a wonderful flame of hope that Dom can redeem himself. The film is tagged as ‘Raucously Entertaining’. Indeed it is, but it’s so much more and, for a bargain price and ninety minutes of my time, sheer magic.

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