Robert Carlyle's directorial debut might not be a masterpiece but for a first time directing a film this is quite entertaining.
The story is incredibly simple and seems to be more about quirky Scottish characters living life as they see fit. One of them is main character Barney Thomson played by Robert Carlyle who at first glance seems quite content with himself and the life he is leading as an unimaginative barber. But then he gets faced with some truths and his world starts to shatter into little pieces. How exactly I won't reveal and I advice you not to watch the trailer since it gives too much away. Not knowing the events is part of what makes this movie fun. Some of the characters are so outrageous that you simply have no idea how they are going to act. Barney's mother is brilliantly played by Emma Thompson who is clearly enjoying herself as an older lady. Ray Winstone is adequate but unremarkable. I know they were going for a London versus Glasgow thing but it was not really funny nor interesting. Most compelling was the fact how fortunate unlucky Barney is. Despite the predicament he is in he seems to be largely unaffected by the worst things that could happen to someone. Which I found highly hilarious. One thing that did annoy me was Barney's hairstyle.
|What kind of hairstyle is this?|
Don't know about you but if I saw a barber with hair like that I would never ever let my hair be cut by him. Seriously. Maybe this was meant for comedic effect to illustrate that Barney is not the good barber he thinks he is. Actually that makes everything so much more tragic. Since his job is his life. In any case he does have our sympathy as the other characters are very unlikable or downright evil. Plus the fact that it is hard to dislike Carlyle even if he plays the worst crook ever like he did in Trainspotting.
Overall a nice little film that won't impress story wise but it sure has some interesting characters who will keep you entertained with their unique view on life.