Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Meantime (1983)

A British drama written and directed by Mike Leigh, starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman.
A young man lives with his parents and older brother. The brother is a little bit controlling and none of them have worked in a long time. The main character is romantically interested in a woman whom he sees at the pub and laundry-mat. He visits her apartment with his skinhead friend. He is asked by his aunt to help her paint inside her house, but the controlling brother arrives and talks him out of it.
This is one of Leigh's most famous films and it fits his style very well. Never one for clearly defined plots, Leigh made sure that it seemed like the viewer was following some Brits around for no real reason. Characters were what this was about and their personalities and interactions were expanded upon to a deep and meaningful level. The video was basic and standard of the time. The brothers sitting together for a cathartic conversation at the end reminded me of Life is Sweet (1990) with sisters doing the same thing. I'm sure that there are other similarities between the two films, but don't really feel like doing that research right now. The audio featured a piano piece that was repeated in multiple scenes and some very British punk rock. Some of the dialogue was unclear because of heavy accents and cockney slang. Fortunately for me, the version I got came with Spanish subtitles, so I got the general idea of what was being said. As an interesting side note, this film featured both of the lead actors from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1990). On first watching, this film seems like all of Mike Leigh's other work: what just happened (if anything)? I am sure, though, that upon further viewing, it's secret beauty will be revealed like other Mike Leigh films. I have to give it a weird pink rating because my opinion of it will change with time.

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