Belgian director Michael Roskam’s debut feature film may be a tough, brutal, gritty crime drama but its unbelievably good and certainly not to be missed and I opine its even better than his second movie The Drop (2014), which turned out to be James Gandolfini’s final feature film.
|The explosive Jacky Vanmarsenille.|
Starring Matthias Schoenaerts, the award-winning star of Rust and Bone (2012), Bullhead (2011) or to give it its Dutch title Rundskop, is harrowing tale of revenge, redemption and fate. The Belgium born actor plays Jacky Vanmarsenille a man whose life has been affected by a violent childhood incident that has left him permanently maimed which in turn has made him unsociable and deep, a handsome man who has never known love outside his immediate family. Jacky and his family are central to a meat selling scam, one in which beef cattle are illegally injected with hormones to bulk them up and produce more meat. But again due to that violent child hood occurrence Jacky Vanmarsenille has also been injecting himself with hormones as well as taking steroids. Three things happen to Jacky that complicates his life even more than usual, putting pressure on his already explosive nature. Firstly undue pressure from a Mafioso meat trader, secondly the murder of a Federal Agent who has been investigating the illicit trade in meat and finally a woman from his traumatic past.
To play this part the brilliant Schoenaerts had to put in a great deal of work bulking up to replicate the effects of the characters drug intake and successfully giving the impression that he will explode into violence any moment - which at times he does! Don’t be put off by the movies ruthless and cruel subject matter, this is a film that should be widely seen and was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards and only lost to the Iranian submission A Separation (2011) - yes its that good.
|The source of an illicit income.|