Bronson – Movie Review
In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and ‘Charles Bronson,’ his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson – a scathing indictment of celebrity culture.
BRONSON is a truly fascinating and fresh movie that is based on a story, that is apparently well known in Britain, about the most violent criminal ever observed within the British prison system. His original name was Michael Peterson and he was involved in a bank robbery in which nobody was hurt but which he stole $15 million and was sentenced to seven years in prison – four years with good behavior. On the contrary, he decides in prison to change his name to Charles Bronson of Death Wish Fame and become a celebrity. He becomes very violent in prison and we are taken through his whole history, which includes various mental institutionalizations. Because of all of his violent misconduct, Bronson ends up spending 33 years in prison for an original crime which wasn’t violent, which is sort of interesting. This is a movie that you’re going to love or hate. I actually loved it. It’s a combination of Cabaret, Fight Club, and A Clockwork Orange. It is done in a very impressionistic style with a wonderful charismatic lead named Tom Hardy who had minor roles in Band of Brothers and Blackhawk Down. It is directed by a wonderful director who’s name is Nicholas Refn, who is really able to tell us a different kind of story than we’re used to. Hardy has an intensity to him that is amazing, and a charisma that you can’t take your eyes off. This is not everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s absolutely mesmerizing in terms of filmmaking.