29 March 2013 | hitchcockthelegend
When you are a worker, it rains stones seven days a week.
Raining Stones is directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. It stars Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom Hickey, Mike Fallon and Jonathan James. Music is by Stewart Copeland and cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.
Northern England and as unemployment bites hard, Bob (Jones) frets about finding the money for his daughter's communion dress...
It's classical Loach, an awareness of the lower to working class lifestyle during a politically turbulent time. As is the great director's want, realism leaps out from every frame, earthy humour is evident and Loach draws you into his kitchen sink world with ease. Raining Stones has no political agenda as such, it's primary focus is the people, specifically examining how a basically honest hard working man has pride in abundance but little brains in accompaniment. And we all know what pride comes before...
The structure is simple, an hour of film lets us know the principal players, their surroundings and their beliefs. Humour dominates the narrative at this point, be it nutty ideas like stealing a sheep off of the Moors to sell to the butcher - Bob's date with a sewer drain - and Tommy (Tomlinson) showing his ass and genitals to an overhead police helicopter! There are scenes and snatches of dialogue that genuinely bring the laughs. Yet lurking in the background is the palpable sense of things about to turn bad, which is the case of course, and the film shifts for its last third into dramatic thriller mode.
Religion is a feature, but again it's not something that Loach wants to use as a tool for head beating. In fact it's refreshing that the portrayal of Father Barry (Hickey excellent), who is the glue that binds his unemployed flock together, is not about pious pontificating, he's very aware of the times and happy to share a glass of whiskey with Bob and offer up some surprising advice. Cast performances are across the board great, something which is another trait of Loach's direction, while Ackroyd's photography around the Middleton, Rochdale locale is suitable stripped back to reveal a climate of struggle.
A must for anyone with a kink for Loach's type of story telling, Raining Stones is another fine entry on his considerable CV. 8/10