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4.2 out of 5 stars
Goodbye Charlie Bright [2001] [DVD]
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2004
As the directorial debut of Nick Love - the filmmaker who brought to life John King's excellent book, The Football Factory - Goodbye Charlie Bright will hopefully be given a retrospective second chance by the British filmgoing public, who largely ignored it on it's original cinematic release.
A humorous and touching tale of friendship and loyalty, the film bears what one imagines to become future Nick Love trademarks - short running time, quick edits, rapid pace and colourful characters, as well as a knowing and confident authenticity about the subject matter.
What marks this film out from other British films that take place on a council estate is that Love taps into the youthful mindset - the estate is not a bleak, depressing and hopeless place when you're young... it is your whole world... It is represented in the film with vibrant colours and a scorching summer setting. People picked on the fact that the 'adult' characters were mostly exagerrated, but what the film is really doing is tapping into the youthful fantasy and fascination with the 'grown ups' - they ARE larger than life to youngsters, hence we have the cowboy-wannabe Tony Immaculate, and the faux-posh geezer Paul 'Hector' Moriarty. Only Charlie's dad, in a superb cameo by David Thewlis, seems grounded, almost pathetic - a world apart from the other adults his son encounters and, as a result, his is the most minimal of impacts on his son's life and narrative.
The two lead actors are Paul Nicholls and Roland Manookian, both of whom turn in fantastic performances. Nicholls, in particular, exudes a presence and star quality that begs the question why he isn't a bigger star. Manookian has a tougher role, but somehow makes his 'loser' character oddly endearing; sadly, as evidenced by his equally impressive turn in Love's second film, his is a specific look, and it's very hard to see him playing anything other than directionless losers... but what he does, he does brilliantly.
The film moves along at such a pace that certain characters wander in and out, often seeming undeveloped. This is not a flaw in the writing so much as it is a virtue of the screenplay - the film, stylistically, is caught between slice-of-life and urban-thriller, subscribing to neither, fusing, rejecting and critiquing contemporary British cinema.
Energetic, lively, with humour and pathos that elevates it above most modern British films, Goodbye Charlie Bright is a highly entertaining film from a promising director, with far more depth than you might first believe.
Highly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An excellent film with genuine and compelling characters. A story about life choices during adolescence. A wonderful film about gonnabees and wannabees.

Set in a housing estate somwhere in London, this is a brilliant film because depsite the fact that the roles protrayed are complicated, the story line is not. Every young man, parent and best friend can relate to some, if not all of the characters.

A film that can be watched over and over........ and you still learn something about human nature every time.

Certainly well worth the money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2009
Goodbye Charlie Bright [2001] [DVD]

This is, i believe, Nick Love's debut film offering and as much as i love Football Factory and the others this is by far his best film. The casting is spot on, the characters develop perfectly as the film rolls on and the plot is interesting and gripping with plenty of twists and turns along the way. It is, in my opinion quite an accurate portrayal of teenage life on the streets of South London with all the emotion, witty banter and mischief and criminality that goes with it. A definate must see!
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on 14 April 2015
This has a pretty average rites of passage premise, group of lads on boring estate start going separate ways as laddish scrapes give way to something more grown-up and even tragic. Know what I mean? But the film is way more endearing than most of Nick Love's bigger budget output. Some of the performances creak, particularly a fresh-faced Danny Dyer losing it with baseball bat iwhen he finds his beloved has bedded another. But Paul Nicholls makes a sympathetic lead as Charlie, brightest of the gang and keen to get out. His voice-over manages not to grate. Roland Manookian is, as always, massively irritating, but at least he is meant to be in this case as doomed Justin, the best mate who doesn't get it. The comedy, based around half-bungled burglaries, posh parties and banter with bemused parents, is borderline funny. I passed on Jamie Foreman's repressed gay wanna be American wheeler-dealer Tony. The girls and old ladies get to swear as much as the boys, which is as it should be. Phil Daniels is a bit hammy as 'disturbed' Falklands veteran Eddie, but it almost works. Frank Harper hosts a going away party for his soldier son and manages not to beat anyone up. The 'c' word count is surprisingly small.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2003
Good by Charlie Bright si one of the best british films i have seen before. it shows the life of about 5 teenage boys growing up in a rough south London council estate. from previous esperience this film really does represents real life as a teenager in London, with brlliant acting from Paul Nicholles and Roland Manookian. the main story line is about the relation ship between Charlie (Paul Nicholles) and his best freind Justin (Roland Manookian)and what they should be doin with there lives. overall just a great and must see film im supprised this film was never in the charts because it truly is great. the feel of this film is serious but with some good humor attached which really gives this film its edge.
so if your lookin for a really good entertaing hart warming film then this is the one to get!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2001
I saw this film when it was on at the cinema and eagerly awaited its release on DVD. The film is well-acted, entertaining and thought-provoking. Paul Nicholls looks fabulous and acts even better. If he doesn't become an A List actor very soon then the world is an even stranger place than I thought.
My advice is give this under-rated, under-advertised British film a chance. Watch it as soon as possible. The Next Full Monty - that old cliche! Goodbye Charlie Bright is ever bit as good as any Brit film I've ever seen and better than many Hollywood overhyped junk film that I have suffered.
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on 21 January 2009
This film had all the promise of a great coming of age movie.

But there are too many dead ends in the plot. It even looks as if there was a much longer film that got edited down dramatically to its finished format. it was disappointing in this respect and shows the difference between Nick Love and Shane Meadows - where Nick Love chooses to stop short of taking you all the way, Shane meadows completes the story and leaves you breathless.

The Football Factory was the same - it could have gone further - compare it to Lexi Alexander's Green Street which , for all its faults (mostly poor acting from Charlie Hunnam), goes to the extreme.

Nick Love is good, but needs to learn a few things from Shane Meadows.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2008
I LOVED THIS FILM. I THINK NICK LOVE IS A TALENT IN WHAT HE DOES. HE'S VERY CLEVER WITH HAVING A MORAL AND MESSAGE, BUT STILL PROVIDED THE WONDERFUL EPRESSIONS OF 'LAD CUTLTURE AND EXCESSES.' I LOVE THIS FILM, AS IT WAS NICKS DEBUT IN THE FEATURE LENGTH ARENA, AND BECUASE OF THAT IT MAKES IT RAW AND FROM A YOUNG FILM MAKERS HEART. THE STORYLINE IS GREAT AS THERE'S NOT MUCH OF ONE IF THAT MAKES SENSE! ITS JUST THE TRUE LIFE WAY OF LADS ON A COUCIL ESTATE THAT DON'T HAVE MUCH TO DO, AND A STORY OF SOMEONE TRYING TO BREAK AWAY FROM THAT. SOME CLASSIC AND FUNNY MOMENTS. TOP FILM........
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on 10 April 2009
I got this because I liked Nick Love's other films, especially `The Business' and `Football Factory' and it stars Danny Dyer' again. I wasn't expecting too much with it being the first film he directed, nut this is a real gem of a film.

It's an excellent story centring round the lives of a group of youths in South London. There's some excellent acting from the likes of Danny Dyer, Roland Manookian and even Paul Nicholls, who I didn't really rate before I saw this. Throw in Phil Daniels (Icon of a generation), David Thewlis and even Dani Behr and you've got the makings of a really excellent Brit-flick.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2007
I had seen this film before, but it was only on seeing it again recently (after being told it was filmed not far from me on the Cambridge Road estate in Kingston, Surrey, standing in for Millwall territory) that I realise just how good it is.

Director Nick Love went on to do 'The Football Factory' and 'The Business', both of which were more obvious crowd-pleasers also exploring some of this film's central themes to some extent, but you can't help feeling that what he made up in audiences with his later projects, he perhaps lost a bit in heart (until his recent 'Outlaw' which is just plain rotten from start to finish).

Friendship, loyalty and masculinity are all key themes in Love's films and here they are right up front. The acting performances are fantastic. I have been fortunate enough to see Paul Nicholls, Danny Dyer and Roland Manookian on stage doing some of their best work, but it is easily matched here. Manookian as the best friend of Nicholls's Charlie is a particular triumph. Most of us know or have met someone like him!

This film has warmth, excitement, danger and feels extremely real. If I had a complaint at all, it would be that everyone in it looks so young compared to their later work that it makes me feel really ancient!

'Outlaw' aside, I have enjoyed Nick Love's films, but I wonder if he'll ever do something quite this good again...
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