The Sky In Bloom: Review

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The British Gangster film is a fundamental field when it comes to modern UK cinema. The combination of gritty backdrops, dry humor and brimmed with violence plots make this genre a prevalent one, albeit some might say a little over done. However, whether it’s meant to or not, award winning The Sky In Bloom has managed to turn what could have been a typical cat and mouse chase into a rather amusing, rather engaging British crime thriller with an interesting back story of love, death and chocolate cake.

The storyline follows carpet salesman slash human trafficker Branick (Bill Thomas) and his right hand man Sean (Sean Knopp) as they, along with their unusually non-threatening gang, seek out the killer of one of their men. What should be one of the most prominent aspects of the plot is that fact that Branick only has months to live. However, this is a detail that gets lost in the background of the narrative while also strangely creating a little bit of comical relief, in particular the skit where Branick is selecting his coffin with an overly hyperbolised bent priest. While the plot unfolds as they get closer to their culprit, it’s often hard to tell what is supposed to be the most conspicuous angle: Branick’s imminent death, the vengeance of Eddie, or the interwoven love story between Sean and Branick’s daughter, Amy (Kelly Eastwood). Just when it appears that director Toor Mian might not even be sure himself, the ending all comes together to create a meaningless and yet entertaining conclusion with just the right amount of “holy s**t!”

At times the acting flits between being a bit hollow to being a bit amplified. The dialogue between certain characters such as Sean and friend Ducek (Ross Mullan) can come across as some generated by a high school drama class. However, what becomes apparent is the intention of the discourse, as Mian creates a hilarious banter that draws inspiration from Guy Richie and Quentin Tarantino, producing some genuinely witty moments including anecdotes that are reminiscent of the classics such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Gangster No. 1. On the other side of production, the cinematography is slick and sharp. Mian uses some interesting points of view, embracing object perspectives and imaginative camera angles, strengthening the film and showing up Mian’s talents as a director.

The Sky In Bloom established some very positive reactions from its critics and viewers alike, winning ‘Best Picture’ at Newport International Film Festival. What is refreshing to see here is a film that is not embarrassed by its blatant motivations but instead embraces them. One to look out for if you’re seeking an enjoyable British thriller with a comical edge.

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