BREAK, has pace and an honest style which is engaging and entertaining.
The ‘Color of Money’, meets rite-of-passage in Michael Elkin’s lively debut feature about a young snooker player from the wrong side of town, BREAK, has pace and an honest style which is engaging and entertaining.
Played with a sincere, charismatic charm by Sam Gittins, Spencer’s tale is all too familiar.
London, inner city waster Spencer Pryde dabbles in drug dealing and spends his time arguing with his Mother, but has far deeper problems with his absent Father. However, like his Father, Spencer also has a real talent for snooker. When by chance, he meets Chinese promoter Qiang who offers to back him in a tournament, Spencer grabs it. However, things soon turn sour, when Spencer’s low self-esteem and trouble with the local drug thugs, threaten this golden chance.
Played with a sincere, charismatic charm by Sam Gittins, Spencer’s tale is all too familiar. However, with a commendable script and great direction, break is a well told re-working, with good performances all round. This is down to strong direction from Elkin, and his sharp dialog, which gives BREAK a strong identity. There’s a sense that the producers, which includes Terri Dyer, who also makes a great job of playing Spencer’s world-weary mum, really know what they are doing. This has allowed the film’s creative directing, acting and story to take off. Commercially driven, this is a film with heart that will appeal to younger audiences, and is also well shot, with some interesting frame choices, by English cinematographer Richard Swingle, (who, curiously has written several successful fantasy novels too!)
Rutger Hauer holds the screen as he always did...
In the best tradition of a lot of ‘Break-out,’ features, BREAK's cast also features some actors with very good pedigree indeed. Veteran, successful character actor, David Yip, plays ‘Qiang’ with style. Well known actor Jamie Foreman, who has been in so many successful British independent films, plays ‘Monty,’ and joe Egan, the atmospheric, ex-boxer champion of so many films, plays ‘Paddy John’. However, the talent that eclipses all, alas in one of his last roles, is Rutger Hauer who plays local crime overlord, ‘Ray’. Even though his role is small, Rutger Hauer holds the screen as he always did, with great charm and skill, and with the others, provides a cast of great satellites around the rising star that is Sam Gittins. Very watchable and with a keen eye on story and plot, Sam Gittins portrays Spencer’s journey from wrong to right, from dark to light so well, that we feel somehow, that we are in his shoes. So, if you like sporting journeys, grab yourself a beer and sit back and enjoy the ride. On your own, or with mates, this is a well spent night in by anyone’s standards.
BREAK is released on Digital & DVD 31st August 2020.
The reviewer, Jane Alexandra Foster, is an indie film maker in her own right, and loves to support and help other indie films wherever she can. firstname.lastname@example.org