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Philip Ridley directs this Faustian psychological thriller/horror set amid the violent ganglands of the East End of London. Jim Sturgess stars as Jamie Morgan, a young photographer whose life has always been blighted by a heart-shaped birthmark on his face. His acute self-consciousness and longing to fit in lead him into striking a deal with the enigmatic Papa B (Joseph Mawles) in which he can become handsome at last. But he soon discovers the horrific price that he must pay for his newfound good looks.
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Top Customer Reviews
It ends with some quite beautiful words of wisdoms that wrap up the film in an unexpected ending M.Night Shamallam would be proud of; and the direction, lighting and cinematography are all well handled, getting the most out of some great sets and locations.
The acting and characters are all very good and very believable, and you become invested in them emotionally. There's also a brilliant appearance by Eddie Marson, who is surely one the UK's top acting talents... If you don't know the name, you'll know his face when you see it.
The musical score is good and adds to the film in all the right places, and the film itself has more than it's fair share of twist and turns; ones that I'm happy to say you don't see coming a mile off.
The CGI is good too, and one thing I'm really pleased about is that this film didn't feel cheap or 'British'. A lot of UK cinema, good as it might be, sometimes feels very 'made for TV', low budget, or film school, but this didn't at all. I think that that is in no small part thanks to Philip Ridley.
This film is perhaps only really worth 4 stars - it had it's flaws and, perhaps, one or two twists too many, but I'm so impressed by what was attempted - and more to the point - what was achieved, that I'm going to give it 5 stars. I'll certainly be talking about it down the pub tonight and look forward to seeing what Phillip Ridley gives us next.
If you don't like the sound of that then this isn't the film for you (and you're weird - why wouldn't you like that?). Heartless refers to various elements of the film but mostly to our hero's (Jim Sturgess - if hero is the right word) birthmark which renders him an outsider and awkward. He stumbles upon a gang who he realises are not human and begins his descent into anarchy and darkness. There are various story strands; his fear of the marauding gangs, his search for revenge after the violence comes home, his infatuation with an Eastern European model he meets at his uncle's studio, his friendship with his new neighbour (Noel Clarke)and said neighbours dark past and a vicious gang leader with a claw for a hand intetn on mayhem. So far this is a film noir set in a grimy and dangerous East London but it becomes clear very quickly that there is a strong supernatural element here (the review title "Harry Brown in Hell" sums it up pretty nicely). Soon the hero must face his worst fears and gets an offer he can't really refuse taking him deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness but offering him the hope of a good life.
The grainy and grimy feel of rundown London estates makes for a perfect backdrop for the unfolding story which contrasts nicely with some of the ancient buildings and the green fields of London parks. The film looks great and the fact that special effects are used rather sparingly means that they work when they are. Okay the velociraptor faces are a little bit iffy but fleeting views in the shadows mean that is being very picky.Read more ›
Too bad that maybe he needed some projects and took this one.
Potentially interesting (a kind of Faust set in current days) but, after and intriguing and promising start, it becomes confused, gore and pointless.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow. I had no idea what to expect as I bought this film. I am glad I did so!! This movie is quite simply one of the best I have seen. Jim Sturgess is incredible. Read morePublished 20 months ago by OwenDavies2
An interesting modern take on a devil focused film. It teaches bueaty is confidence and thst everything has a price and of course to never trust in the devil. Read morePublished on 2 May 2015 by Anthony Mark Walton
I purchased this film for my daughter who likes something different, This film has a different taste from the usual suspense films,as You do not know what will happen next-it keeps... Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2014 by Mr. M. K. Johnson
This film is a morality tale and has been told many times in many ways.
What makes this film special is the acting of the central character and the way this character is... Read more
I'm a little biased as I know all the locations very well and live very close by, but was really entertained by this. Read morePublished on 15 Jan. 2013 by Flora Cake
Good film. Quite possibly overlooked by many.
Had from Lovefilm and really enjoyed, so ordered on here.
Has a good moral too it as well.
this film it trying to modernise horror 70s style horror to the 00s public... it fail. the story is the basic story everyone ones heard... guy has no self confidence... Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2012 by The Meade