Top positive review
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Very moving and emotional life story
on 15 March 2016
Tom Hardy is brilliant in the lead role as Stuart, a deeply troubled young man and his relationship with the author, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The story begins with the meeting between the two protagonists and develops from there, with Stuart giving his life story in reverse as he wants to make it more interesting, 'like a Tom Clancy novel'. The acting is superb throughout this harrowing film, with a steady catalogue of abuse, mental and health issues which have plagued Stuart, since a young child. His innate sense of dry humour leavens the horror he has been exposed to and Tom Hardy is simply brilliant in his portrayal.
There are some comediac moments when a troop of activists, petitioning for the release of charity workers falsely imprisoned for drug offences, camp outside the Home Office on a weekend, when Jack Straw is not there. Stuart offers up some Masterclass cuisine with his 'convict curry' and deep fried bacon sandwiches to the author, all the time giving up his troubled background. The extent of his abuse as a child are horrifying and compounded by his medical condition and chronic alcoholism.
The ending is very sad and ties in with the beginning well. The extras shed light on the making of the picture with the author's piece being very interesting. An excellent and harrowing story with fine acting throughout.