Bronson (2008)


Britain's most violent prisoner makes his way to the big screen

Born into a respectable middle class family, Michael Gordon Peterson, re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter, would nevertheless become one of the United Kingdom's most dangerous criminals and is known for having spent almost his entire adult life in solitary confinement.

The film opens with Charles Bronson addressing a crowd about his life story, and manages to serve as an ongoing monologue to frame the scenes of Bronson's life.

Charles Bronson is an interesting character, to say the least. He loves being in prison due to how mad it is, thinks of his prison cell as a hotel room and considers it to be "a place to sharpen my tools". The great thing about him is how different Charles Bronson is, his violence doesn't stem from a hatred of society or a tough upbringing, but from simply wanting to be famous, and knowing he can't act or sing, opts to become infamous.

But a character is only as good as it's actor's performance, and I felt Tom Hardy delivered a spectacular performance, giving off the proper charisma needed for such a character. The thing about Bronson is that he was never the most stable minded person, so one minute he could have a big smile on his face and be laughing, and in a second switch to having a serious and intimidating look on his face, and Hardy's performance manages to make us believe this character could so easily flip between the two facial emotions.


Nicolas Winding Refn gives off some brilliant direction for this film, managing to use the colors and the right amount of lighting well for each scene. Music is well utilized throughout, with the classical music hauntingly playing over many of the film's scenes and electropop feels surprisingly fitting for the scenes it was used in, especially the fight scenes. At one point, he integrates real life footage of what Charles Bronson did rather than re-enact said event, and it works much better than if the director chose to re-enact the moment.

I did feel that the ending was a bit abrupt, but seeing as the film's based on a real life person who's still alive and locked away, it does make sense that there would not be a definitive way to end this film.

Bronson is a compelling film which is brought to life by a great performance from Tom Hardy and brilliant direction from Winding Refn, which manages to make a brilliant film which deserves to be viewed.


Haha, I loved this movie too, ending included. 9/10. Please get Jenna Blackwell to read it. Tom Hardy deserved an oscar nomination.
James Rodrigues said…
@OMFGITSROHIT Hardy definitely deserved a nomination, but what are you gonna do?
HarleyQuinn said…
I really want to see this now, especially as a fan of Hardy. Excellent review James!
Unknown said…
This looks like quite a curious and different film. I will watch it eventually.
Excellent write-up!