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A bare knuckle movie,
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This review is from: The Big Man [DVD] (DVD)
Set against the backdrop of Thatcher's deindustrialisation policies on a small mining village near Glasgow, The Big Man dramatises the loss of working class pride and illustrates how socio-political forces led many into desperation as the economy was shifted from manufacturing and heavy industry into service industries. Liam Neeson stars as Danny Soular, a former miner with a wife, two children and a criminal record for police assault during the Miners' Strike of 1984/1985. Relegated to the role of househusband, he seeks solace and financial enlightenment in the things that got him thus far in life - his hands. Cajoled into taking part in an illegal bare knuckle fight he loses his wife and children as he embarks on a rigorous training regime with his boyhood friend (played by Billy Connolly) who is now a runner for a notorious Glasgow crime lord with a big coat and a veneer of respectability (Ian Bannen).
The Big Man is notable for its particularly long fight scene in which there are eventually no holds barred. Brutal? Yes. Disturbing? Perhaps, but not unexpectedly so in a film of this ilk. The narrative also flirts frequently to Spain, where a mysterious, lobster-pink Costa criminal appears to spend all day lounging in his pool on a lilo. His role is ultimately revealed as the plot gradually unravels.
The Big Man combines tragedy, comedy and drama and captures a sense of loss in working class masculinity that occurred in Scotland in the 1980's. Several other notable characters are featured here including a young Hugh Grant and even the legendary Glasgow socialite, Tommy Moore.
To this day, Britain does not manufacture goods on the same scale and some people made unemployed at this time never actually found work again. The Big Man therefore captures the angst of the disenfranchised working class man and dramatises this through a gritty tale of 111 minutes of desperation and a subtle search for meaning.
Recommended viewing. There are no extras on the DVD. Note that, like the backdrop, some of the language used is industrial.