5 July 2004 | mulhollandman
" I need the Buzz "
Alan Clarke has cemented his reputation as a gritty realist director through three successful films. These are " Scum ", " Made in Britain " and " The Firm ". These are his most memorable as they were the launch pads for three of Britain's greatest actors. Ray Winestone as Carlin in " Scum ", Tim Roth as Trevor in " Made in Britain " & Gary Oldman as Bex in " The Firm ". All these films have one thing in common. They do not let up for anything or anyone when it comes to Violence, Racism and anti-social beliefs.
The Firm centers around the I.C.C (Inner City Crew) firm and their leader and top boy Bex. Bex is a well to do estate agent who has a nice motor, a lovely home and wife and child. Bex's position is firmly established in their first meeting with two other rival firms. Bex has an vision of a united firm to go to the German European Cup and it is he that should lead it. However he must deal with the leaders of the other firms before he can lead an united front abroad.
We see the I.C.C travel to rival turf and stake their claim but this is not before a disaster happens. The world of Football thuggery is dealt with carefully by showing us Bex as a man that craves the buzz that he is top boy. He is not content with being the leader of his own firm he wants more and more. It appears he has everything else a good job, car and a loving wife however as his obsession with being the over all top boy that we are introduced to the cracks that are appearing in his marriage due to his violent past time.
This film is excellent in it's character portrayal and it does show a very different Gary Oldman character. Bex at the out set comes across as a typical nice bloke who works hard and has a good sense of humor but at the end of the film you are weary that you would never cross him due to his ferocious temper. There is one great scene when Bex's wife confronts him and asks when is he going to give up this lifestyle and he replies " I need the Buzz ". What can I say this really does sum up the whole idea of grown males going around knocking seven shades out of one another.
My only complaint is that the film was not longer. My reasons for watching this film is because of the new films that are being made about football violence (The Football Factory, The Yank)I wanted to see a film that was made during the time that football violence was in it's prime in Great Britain and Europe. I was also thrilled that there was no mention of any football teams as it showed exactly what these thugs enjoyed doing and that is slapping people. This point is observed by one of Bex's crew at a meeting.
If it is ever on the T.V. watch it, or buy the D.V.D it will not disappoint.