Brighton Rock


Bold remake is intelligent and ultimately flawed Discuss this article

It’s easy to get dewy-eyed over a great novel and film like Brighton Rock and shriek when you hear that a young pretender is remaking it and – sacre bleu! – setting it in another period. What director Rowan Joffe has done with this bold and intelligent, if flawed and maybe a little doomed (like Pinkie’s poor old Rose), remake is to go back to both the 1938 book and 1947 noir and transfer many of their elements from Brighton in the 1930s to the same town in 1964. There’s a lot of smart thinking behind this film, but we’re not convinced the 1964 setting is entirely successful. At its worst, it feels like a superficial add-on, a chance for frontman Sam Riley to cruise along the seafront on a moped.

Joffe’s other big change is to focus more than the 1947 film on the ‘romance’ between Pinkie and new wife Rose and allow his story to amble down more by-ways. Some may find this new Brighton Rock a slower, less energetic experience as a result, but at least there’s more room for Joffe to explore the dirty bedsits and towering cliffs of Brighton with some exquisite photography – even if, unlike original directors the Boulting brothers, he shoots most of his film in nearby, better-preserved Eastbourne.

By Dave Calhoun
Time Out Doha,

Brighton Rock

  • Duration: 111
  • Released: Thu, 28 Jul
  • Classification: 18+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Rowan Joffe
  • Stars: Sam Riley, Andy Serkis, Helen Mirren, Andrea Riseborough, Philip Davis, Nonso Anozie, Craig Parkinson, Sean Harris

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