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(Review originally written at 12 June 2007)

It's a typical light-heavy movie, if you know what I mean. It's a movie that's heavy on its subjects but gets always told in a light and somewhat fun way. Typically British. It makes the movie at all times a pleasant one to watch.

The movie has an original way of storytelling, with the use of flashbacks. The flashbacks are however not always told in chronological way, which should had strengthened the story but it just doesn't do this and the leaps in time just get a tad bit overdone. I mean, not every flashback really serves a significant enough purpose, other than making the movie more melodramatic, which in return doesn't make this movie the most believable or realistic one around.

The main plot line is good and simple on its own, so it's too bad that the movie feels the need to put in more story lines to make the movie even more dramatic. The movie just didn't needed that. The movie now often feels more like a soap-opera than a honest realistic drama.

But all this negativity aside, this is a perfectly watchable movie.

The movie is told slowly in a pleasant pace. The dialog and characters are kept as realistic as possible but it's also most definitely due to the fine actors that the characters of the movie work out so well as they did. It's a real character movie.

The Michael Caine character is only featured in the flashbacks of the movie but yet due to the way the story is told, he becomes the central character of the movie. Basically he once more plays his "Alfie" role again but who complains about it? All of the other actors certainly aren't the least in their business. Oscar-winner Helen Mirren shows her versatility as an actress. Bob Hoskins also plays a good humble role and so does Ray Winstone, whose career really took off the last couple of years.

The movie is nicely shot with some good looking locations. It's really English all, as is the overall cultural atmosphere of the movie. It works out really pleasant for the movie, even the more depressing locations.

Nothing too impressive, just a perfectly fine watchable little movie.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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