I watched this film for the third time yesterday. Certainly worth buying a copy, for it's very subtle and quite comical in a black humour kind of way. In fact, I've only just realised what made the character, Mr Hilditch, played by Bob Hoskins, so full of hatred and a desire for revenge against women. It was the liver.
In one shot, when the boy Hilditch was being used as a prop by his cookery-show mother during a presentation to camera, he messed up while trying to squirt some stuffing into a prepared turkey, and to punish him, she feeds him a little slice of the raw liver from the stuffing, forcing it into his mouth. Another scene shows the boy in the garden outside as his mother just finishes off a take. The mother rushes up to the lad and makes as if to kiss him on the mouth - but then moves her lips up to give him a peck on the forehead instead. This implied "sexual" kiss, plus the liver episode (a metaphor for her tongue, perhaps), plus much nose-rubbing Eskimo-style between mother and son, and the way Hilditch now a grown man who never married still has flashbacks while eating that make him choke and throw up, suggests that all this deviant behaviour is the result of severe, long-term abuse in childhood.
Elaine Cassidy as the Irish girl over in England to search for her boyfriend to tell him she's pregnant with his child delivers a tremendous performance, and it is excruciating to be one step ahead of her in the story as Hilditch wheedles her to do this and that, eventually persuading her to have an abortion.
The one thing that wasn't explained was what happened to all the other bodies? Since Hilditch is a catering manager and fascinated by food, I reckon he may have disposed of the softer parts in many, many meat pies and sausage rolls. There is a shot of him trying out a new "double" sausage roll that one of the canteen ladies has prepared for him, and he rushes into his office, barely able to spit out the food before gagging on it. So what's wrong with a sausage roll, one might ask? Well, it depends on what previous sausage rolls may have contained!
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