3 December 2007 | Prof-Hieronymos-Grost
Superior Neo Noir
Will Graham (Clive Owen)is a former gangster boss who gave it all up out of disgust at wasting his life in crime, he now lives out of the back of a van and fleets from one anonymous job to the next, sometimes not speaking to another person for weeks on end. After losing his latest job as a forestry worker, he decides to ring his younger brother Davey (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) whom he left in London three years previous, but when he is unable to contact him, he heads for home. On arrival he finds that Davey has committed suicide, but Will is unconvinced and orders a separate independent autopsy, which reveals the shocking truth behind his death. After his success with Croupier, Hodges again returned to the crime genre, and again called on Owen as well as a host of familiar faces, not least Charlotte Rampling as the former love interest of Owen and Malcolm Mc Dowell as a car salesman with a penchant for rape. In a film that is light on dialogue, a strong acting style is required and Owen delivers in spades in a very downbeat role. Hodges even with a meagre budget manages to instill a fine sense of Noir and he manages to keep a tight grip on his actors who never resort to the histrionics that have marred other contemporary Brit Crime films. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead on the face of it has a lot in common with its directors debut, Get Carter, in that they both have their hero going home to find out what happened to their brother and the resulting revenge plot line, but they are quite different films, if anything this latest offering is even darker. Will Graham is a troubled man, coming to terms with his demons, he doesn't want to return to his former violent lifestyle, a lifestyle it must be said that is never alluded to, but the viewer is left in no doubt as fear of him is quite apparent from the faces and demeanour of other criminals who knew him. Some would argue the films ambiguous ending is a let down, I see it as a triumph, its rare to find films this brave, Hodges despite his checkered past is back on top form.