Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Random DVD Round-Up 4 - PURE

PURE is an oddly sentimental movie about a very nasty subject: a small boy coming to terms with his mother's heroin addiction. We first meeting him cooking up her "medicine", lashing out as nasty neighbours who call her what she is - a junkie. Later, he'll try to nurse her through cold turkey. Scenes where she tells him she wishes he'd never been born are almost unbearable to watch.

Molly Parker turns in a brilliant performance as the addict mother who undoubtedly loves her son. David Wenham is quite scarily convincing in his cameo role as the sinister dealer. But the real star is a young Harry Eden, seen recently in FLASHBACKS OF A FOOL. He's utterly convincing and heart-breaking as the young boy old before his time with worry, eager to do right by his mum.

What stops this movie well short of greatness is its tendency towards mawkishness, as reflected in Nitin Sawhney's score. The other great flaw is Keira Knightley trying her best with a chav London accent but failing miserably to convince as a pregnant working-class junkie.

PURE played Toronto and London 2002 and Berlin 2003 where Gillies Mackinnon and Harry Eden won awards. It was released in the UK in 2003 and in the US in 2005. It is available on DVD.

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