our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

01 November 2006

[Reel-Reviews] Breaking and Entering (4 stars)

Will (Jude Law) is a Landscape Architect working on the regeneration of the Kings Cross area of London. In an act of self-confidence Will and his business partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) set up their new office in the same area, renowned for its existing businesses of prostitution and drug-dealing.

Inevitably, having ordered a pallet-load of Macs and flat screen monitors, the office is broken into after the opening party and the hardware repatriated by Bosnian refugee Miro (Rafi Gavron) to a North London estate. Will and Sandy further fail to understand that the second best time to rob a design office is just after the replacement computers have arrived courtesy of the insurance company.

Following this Will and Sandy are thrown into a bizzare set of circumstances, entirely of their own naive making, yet that doesn't prevent the feeling of desperate wonder at how the hell they get into such a mess, and even more how the hell it can be resolved. Sandy settles for a relationship with the cleaner and a one-off random discussion with a prostitute but Will is (believeably) drawn into a relationship with the thief's mother Amira (Julitette Binoche).

Director, Anthony Minghella, draws profound comparisons between Will's partner Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and Amira and between Bea, Liv's acrobatic and autistic daughter, and Miro with his wild portage-inspired, roof-jumping acrobatics.

A final act of naivete, selfishness, and sheer ugliness by Will leaves the ending totally open and whilst somewhat 'hollywood' the ending retains dignity and a grasp on real life, in recognising that you can't just put a sticking plaster over damaged emotions and expect no pain.

IMDB listing and technorati tag: ,


Blogger LauraHD said...

For me, the film also portrays a great deal about reflections/ self-reflections and metaphors - in both the imagery and dialogue. Bea's autism means that Will explains metaphors to her quite a lot - keeping your eyes peeled, learning by heart, etc. And the there are numerous shots of people looking in mirrors, seeing but not being seen, etc.

I also think it's worth thinking about the title, as a film about both selling and theft, hurt and healing, damage and renewal...

1/11/06 13:07


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