24 January 2016 | Spikeopath
Junkhearts - Tortured Souls - Bad Seeds.
Junkhearts is directed by Tinge Krishnan and written by Simon Frank. It stars Eddie Marsan, Candese Reid, Tom Sturridge and Romola Garai. Story has Marsan as Frank, an alcoholic ex-soldier suffering nightmares over an incident that saw him shoot a young mother. Frank strikes up an unlikely friendship with Lynette (Reid), a homeless girl sleeping rough on the streets. Once barriers are broken down, Frank takes Lynette into his home to stay, but it's not long before Lynette's drug dealing boyfriend comes a calling...
For the most part Junkhearts is a very gritty slice of British miserablism. The pic is populated by addicts and wannabe gangsters, in a part of London built of dingy concrete council abodes, and where single promiscuous moms struggle to keep a grip on their lives.
Director Krishnan suffered herself from PTSD, so she was on hand to ensure the great Marsan could do the role justice, while there's a refreshing street believability about young Reid's performance. The camera work is intense and deliberately intruding, with the sound work being hypnotic to add bleaker tones to the characterisations.
The harshness and hurts of addiction rings true here, as does the key betrayal plot line and the breakdown of Frank. Unfortunately the parallel plot line featuring Romola Garai undermines the grit and grime surrounding Frank and Lynette's world, and it sadly serves only to give the pic a somewhat disappointing ending. Whilst the introduction of gun and knife crime appraisals don't strike the requisite powerful chords.
Yet even with its flaws this is still an intense film, with Marsan on top form and some other technical smarts on show, it's well worth a look by anyone interested in a slice of some moody British underbelly. 7/10