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The Take [DVD]
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All four episodes of the four-part ITV drama mini-series based on the novel by Martina Cole. Tom Hardy stars as Freddie Jackson, who is released from prison in 1984 having served a four-year sentence for armed robbery. His wife Jackie (Kierston Wareing), who has been waiting for him on the outside in the mistaken belief that that he wants to go straight, soon finds herself disappointed: Freddie is in fact raring to get back into the game and has set his sights on becoming top dog in the East End underworld. Meanwhile his younger cousin Jimmy (Shaun Evans) is hot on his heels, and dreams of riding Freddie's coat-tails to rise through the ranks of the crime empire.
Based on the best-selling book by Martina Cole, The Take follows the story of Freddie Jackson, a man who’s just left prison. And it’s fair to say has no intention of leaving a life of crime behind him. Thanks to the book of contacts he’s accrued while inside, he’s looking to put his newly found knowledge to commercial, and criminal, use.
Played by Tom Hardy, in a strong leading turn, Jackson doesn’t take long to get back to business. The Take lands him a London rife with gang warfare though, and we soon get the impression that this is not a safe place to be. Events start in the mid 1980s, and the narrative of the drama then covers the next decade, and the cultural and political changes that encompasses. And Jackson’s life doesn’t quite go the way he’d envisaged…
Co-starring Brian Cox and Charlotte Riley, The Take packs plenty in over its four instalments, and it doesn’t hold back on portraying just how brutal the London underworld can be. Yet it’s gripping drama, nonetheless, spearheaded by a superb turn from Tom Hardy in the lead role. Granted, it crams too much into four episodes, and often has to gallop through events. Plus, there’s a familiarity to the narrative. But this is a gritty, well-released adaptation of a strong book, and worth seeking out. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
Tom Hardy (dear god he's one to watch!) turns in a magnificent performance as freed man Freddie, freshly released from prison and up for some violent mischief and ziggurat climbing. Imagine an East End Goodfellas and you're not far off. As things go on the plot twists and turns, the bodies stack up and Freddie's hands get bloodier and bloodier, pulling his cousin Jimmy down with him. It's a rollercoaster ride of murder, extortion, sex, drugs and betrayal.....and it's brilliant!
The cast are excellent in their roles, although Brian Cox's accent shifts all over the place. Hardy is a revelation. I can't speak highly enough of this performance. He is both menacing and sometimes endearing. Both at times incredibly funny and chillingly sadistic. His Freddie is both psychotic powerhouse and vulnerable child, driven at times into furious tantrums that always end in bloodshed. Whilst the plot may be predictable at times (after a while you can begin to anticipate a looming fatality), the character profiles are so well drawn by their respective actors that you are utterly sucked in to this world of grimy, sordid violence.
I wouldn't say that this is enjoyable television. Don't expect cathartic escapism or easy viewing. But finally we have a slick, sharp, gritty mini-serial to rival some of the American imports flooding our channels in lieu of programmes like Waking the Dead. There needs to be more television in this country like this: Ambitious, cinematic, gripping, story driven television. Television that grabs us by the throat and forces us to watch.
This is a primal scream of televisual achievement. Make sure you hear it.
The series contains only four 45 minute episodes but that doesnt prevent you from enjoying this; in fact the shortness of the series enhances the watching experience.
Tom Hardy is as excellent as he always is and the supporting cast are equally impressive. The story is intreaguing and not predictable at all. The characters are complex and believable. The production and script feels worthy of a feature film ..... in fact I have seen much worse films on British gangland such as truely dreadful 'The Rise of the Foot Soldier'.
This is a welcomed 'shot in the arm' for British television which in recent years has suffered from mediocrity.
A great British gangster film separated into 4x45 minute episodes.
The cast are great, especially Tom Hardy who is mesmerizing as Freddie, who despite having a dark side you can't help but like, I am a big fan of Tom Hardy & this is one of my fave roles I have seen him in, he is an amazing actor & in my opinion the star of the show although the rest of the cast play their roles brilliantly too.
This is definitely a must watch & for this price a bargain, if only to drool over Tom Hardy, lol. ;)
It's probably a good thing to see this before reading the Martina Cole novel on which it is based, because inevitably radical changes needed to be made to make it suitable for television and to squeeze as much as is practically possible into the already considerable 176 minutes. As a result some of the key characters in the novel (notably the elder ones, Ozzy and Patricia) get rather more minor roles than anyone who has read the book will expect. But taken as it is, as a TV screenplay, it has been structured very well, it is balanced and makes for entertaining viewing. It manages to get the best out of Martina Cole and eliminate some of the tasteless excesses that the book contains. I watched it non-stop from start to finish, all three hours of it, and it held my attention at all times. Credit must be given not only to the leading man Tom Hardy, the psychopathic Freddie Jackson, but also to Charlotte Riley, who plays his sister-in-law, and to Kierston Wareing who plays Freddie's wife Jackie. It's a huge pleasure to be able to watch the film without any commercial breaks, and the result is an immeasurably better watch than would have been the case on ITV.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this DVD. It's so gripping. If you haven't read the book then you need to watch this or do both. Extra bonus as Tom Hardy's in it.Published 26 days ago by love2read
Tom hardy great as usual great sound track.
All round brilliant cast. Loved it .
A future classic.