Liam (Martin Compston) is about to turn 16. His mother is in prison, taking the fall for hisbrutal drug-dealing father. (And his grandfather is just as bad.) Thrown out his home fordeliberately messing up a drug exchange which would have spoiled his mother’s chances forrelease, Liam sets about creating not just a new life for himself, but trying to provide for hismother when she gets out. His quest won’t be easy, to put it mildly. Strong, naturalisticperformances, and an un…ompromising look at the conditions in which the characters liveunderpin a characteristically strong offering from Ken Loach.
The soundtrack is in 5.1, but this isn’t a film that really shows off in this department. Themusic has a nice enough mix, but there are very few surround sound effects. Even duringsequences set in a bar or the prison, where there is ample opportunity for environmental effects,there is next to nothing from the rear speakers. This is, however, the kind of movie that wouldhave worked almost as well in mono, given how dialogue-driven it is. The sound is crisp andclean, but be warned: between the slang and the extremely thick Scottish accents, NorthAmerican viewers will most likely want to use the subtitles.
The picture fits the tone and style of the film. In other words, rather grim and grainy. Thegrain is most noticeable during interior scenes, but is present throughout. The colours aregenerally good, in a dark, gritty sort of way, with some surprising bursts of the lush green of thevegetation. The grain would be quite irritating on another film, but here doesn’t feel entirely outof place. The aspect is 16×9 anamorphic widescreen.
The menu is basic. Select the Lions Gate logo, and you get trailers for Sweet Sixteen,The Hard Word, Mondays in the Sun and Godsend. There are six deletedscenes (with a very grainy, unfinished look to them) in a montage. Ken Loach’s commentary isinteresting, but a bit sparse, with long gaps. If he doesn’t have anything to say, he doesn’t runoff at the mouth.
The film is gritty, and in many ways so is the disc. From that perspective, form and contentare rather nicely matched.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Deleted Scenes