Firstly, congratulations to all the crew and cast of this gritty independent film. As an avid supporter of British independent film, I can honestly say “A Violent Man” is by far the best I’ve seen in both creative written content and also in the way it’s been put across using the camera.
Ross McCall, I want to personally thank you for portraying claustrophobia, and taking us, as an audience, ‘in on the action’ the way you have. Isolation—however it occurs in life—feels this way despite how many people surround you or however much space you might have. Well executed.
Craig Fairbrass is a seasoned actor and one that both Dave and I have followed since the beginning of his career. It was, then, an honour to finally meet him this week at the Genesis Cinema, Mile End in London’s East End for the screening of this film and the Q&A session afterwards. He does of course play violent roles particularly well, hard to fathom meeting him in the flesh which is further evidence of his fabulous acting ability.
Ross McCall, as I’ve already shared is the writer of this screenplay, he directed too. His gritty film portrays the story of prison life for Craig’s hardened character, Stevie and of his young cell mate Marcus who is played by Stephen Odubola—incarcerated for the first time.
Notwithstanding, the normal prison hierarchy that exists is present as it should be. What stands out is that Stevie takes his young cell mate under his wing, protecting him without understanding the reasons why. Throughout, we gradually glean understanding of the depth of the crime that Stevie is serving time for, the gravity of how his mind works and what angered him initially. We have understanding of the bond he’s forming with Marcus given the deeper story plot as we learn about the devastating effects his actions had on those left behind, the twisted fate and despair of blood connections.
Fear is touched upon in ways you’ll not expect and for me personally I have to commend Zoë Tapper for her portrayal of a prison psychologist. Looking into the soul of such damaged individuals (my past job) and not giving them an opportunity to claw their way into your own psyche is tough going and she carries this off perfectly—despite her obvious temptation at one point to let him in, her professionalism shines through.
One of my favourite scenes, however was between Craig and Ross. Loved the intensity of that—the unpredictable and uncomfortable scenes that unfold before you, certainly hit the spot.
Filmed during lockdown, in just one room, “A Violent Man” is a bold movie filled with terror, and superb acting all around. I’ve left one actor out—she was superb too—and this is done as to not spoil the underlying storyline that holds the plot together. A film that deserves success and leaves scope for a sequel but does so without leaving you in suspense. As a writer of the same genre my mind spent time (no pun intended) last night thinking of possibilities of where Ross could take the story—where I want him to explore—and came up with several avenues... So, it’s up to the public—over to you to support this wonderful production. It’s on AppleTV, Sky and PrimeVideo from today. Go along, watch and promote and give your support to this fabulous and creative piece of British art!