I am always happy to find things to review dropping through my door. Normally these take the form of novels, but today I found a copy of Broken, a British film that was released in cinemas last year and is coming out on DVD on the 8th of July.
I settled down with a curry and hit ‘play’, expecting to be entertained, amused and perhaps even moved. I was not expecting to have my world shattered into a thousand pieces, then put back together again oh-so-carefully to form one of the most intensely poignant films I’ve seen all year.
Broken follows the story of ‘Skunk’ (Eloise Laurence), a young girl who witnesses a brutal attack on a neighbour she’s always liked. The man has been falsely accused of a crime, and as time goes on we come to realise the depth of deceit and betrayal prevalent in the suburban community in which Skunk lives.
The difficulty with this movie is that you can’t write a full synopsis without giving away the intricacies of the storyline. Suffice to say that it aptly shows the darker side of human nature, making it obvious that this is present in all of us, and ultimately bringing its audience to question their own limits. How far could you go into madness, into the dark? What would push you there?
If you’ve seen Tyrannosaur, you’ll recognise similar magnificent acting here, along with that feeling of not knowing who the good guy is, in the end. And that is ultimately what’s so great about this movie: it’s realistic. It doesn’t have good vs. evil, it doesn’t have one obvious bad guy that you can hate; it’s a tumultuous mix of raw human emotion, sewn together by the delicate threads of childhood innocence which gradually get ripped apart as Skunk’s world collapses around her.
And there’s an excellent soundtrack too.