I really liked this film. As the previous reviewer so succinctly puts it, it does give a very realistic view of life on an east London estate and it is, to say the least, grim. I thought the camera work was very clever in that it, too, is grim and dark and dimly lit and adds to the feeling of desolation and poverty.
Caine is fantastic as the central character and gives an almost understated performance. He is a pitiful, sad and lonely old man who resorts to extremes because he cannot cope with his life and his personal losses.
There are some extremely violent and awful scenes in the movie but they are, in my opinion, totally realistic and utterly necessary. The violence (both verbal and physical) is not gratuitous as is the case in many American counter-parts (and I don't mean Gran Torino because I really like that movie too).
A really good film in my opinion.
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