Starring: Richard Harris, Lynn Redgrave, Emma Catherwood,
Lorraine Pilkington and Louise Lombard
Directed by: Don Boyd Rated:
Kingdom starts out wonderfully...but sadly it's a tad too
far fetched towards the end to make it a thoroughly enjoyable
yarn. It is Richard Harris' last film and he is, as always, great.
It's no secret the man-oozed talent freely from his wild man's
Richard plays Sandeman, a mob boss that built his way up from
the Liverpool docks. His whole family is aware of his business.
In fact two of three of the kids want to run the thing. The third,
Jo (Emma Catherwood) is Ms. Holier-than-thou and has a hard time
understanding the ways of her kin. Ho-hum.
family is so corrupt they even have the grandson "The Boy"
(Reece Noi), who's all of ten, running "errands." The
weird part is the first half of the film the family seems pretty
normal. Dysfunctional, but normal. Then following the murder of
beloved wife and mother Mandy (Lynn Redgrave) things start to
crumble - fast. The family accountant advises all her assets (which
are all the assets) need to be transferred into one of
the daughters' names. This way the police and government can't
get at. When the good daughter, Jo, refuses to take possession
of the dirty- earned assets the other two sisters Tracy (Lorraine
Pilkington) and Kath (Louise Lombard), evil and eviler,
are all-too- happy to grab the mighty empire's reigns.
immediately stir things up; violently. First? Out goes dear old
daddy without so much as a "stay well and be sure to call
dear!" Followed by the age-old game of have some - want more!
a familiar theme? Yes, the film is basically King Lear done in
modern day Liverpool - there's even tidbits of twisted Shakespearean
dialog for those who listen carefully.
they didn't adjust the now implausible aspects of King Lear. The
film lost me and the sad twists of unrealistic mumbo jumbo crescendo-ing
into pure mayhem ruined what could have been a thespian delight.
evil sisters Louise Lombard and Lorraine Pilkington were great
as the bickering nemesis'. Emma Catherwood, who played Jo fell
flat too many times - poor kid. I can't truly judge the actor
from this one role - be fair. It could be the director or the
but as Jo she gave a feeling of dread that welled
when she took the screen. The whole thing screeched to a stand
still for those moments.
Lynn Redgrave is in this far too little. It's a complete
treat to see her "being." I understand she took the
role because of its location shooting in Liverpool. The place
her esteemed parents met! How cute is that?
all the cast does a great job of it even when, as mentioned, when
the story goes mad. Too bad the filmmakers strayed into Unbelievable
Land and didn't stay a bit more within the lines of reality. The
film would have been brilliant. As it stands it's a nice look
at a twisted tale of greed and family ethics gone astray. Harris
fans must see this, obviously. But for those who want a Shakespeare
fix done by today's film makers? Rent Scotland
recommendation: Mushy peas and ale