Soho

Soho
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Soho

Londra, estate 1958. Silver Johnny (H. Matheson) è un giovane cantante rock che ha successo nell’Atlantic Club di Soho. Intorno a lui ruota un sottobosco losco di anziani impresari gay (A. Serkis, H. Pinter) e amici dissestati o scapestrati (Baby: A. Gillen; Mickey: I. Hart; Skinny: E. Bremner) che si trovano incastrati in un inesorabile meccanismo, alimentato dalla perversione e dall’avidità. Tratto dalla pièce grottesca omonima (mojo è termine gergale per droga) dello stesso regista che l’ha adattata con il fratello Tom. – ‘Soho’ parte come un racconto dell’età del rock, continua come un dramma della follia e della pedofilia, e si chiude con una quantità di cadaveri degna di un dramma elisabettiano, spiazzando chi si aspetta una logica da ‘genere’. Ma il suo maggior limite è non liberarsi dalle sue origini teatrali, che rendono tutto il film claustrofobico ed enfatico. Un’enfasi teatrale che hanno anche i pur bravissimi attori, spinti da Jez Butterworth, al suo debutto cinematografico, verso eccessi da cabaret espressionista buoni in scena ma stonati sullo schermo. Svetta, fra tutti, Pinter, in una parte praticamente muta, tutta affidata alla sua odiosa ambiguità: un modello di misura che sarebbe stato opportuno copiare.” (Irene Bignardi, La Repubblica)

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Set entirely within the seedy Atlantic club, Silver Johnny – a young and talented performer on the road to fame and fortune is held back by his Jealous, and protective manager Ezra, owner of the night club and father to a psychotic, un-loved son, Baby. As Silver Johnny progresses up the ladder to stardom, local gangster/entrepreneur Sam Ross begins to take interest, and the only way to remove opposition (Ezra) appeared to be sawing him in half, kidnapping Silver Johnny and leaving the clubs’ fate in a state of limbo.
Discovered the next morning by Ezra’s second in command and highly ambitious associate Mickey, announces that Ross intends to take over the Atlantic Club, setting the stage for major power struggles; “He’s been fucking cut in half. He’s in two bins…”
Terrified by this potential threat of extermination by Ross and his gang, the fellow associates under the now deceased Ezra, (Potts, Sweets, Skinny and Baby) begin to loose their nerve and try to convince themselves its Mickey’s idea of a joke; “Its Mickey’s joke, its Mickey’s morning joke!” When this turns out to be false the Atlantic Club gang set themselves to be prepared for what could be their final night; with just an old cutlass as the only defence mechanism along with an old Derringer, the group start to argue amongst themselves and even consider joining Ross or simply leaving.
As the day wears on, oblivious to the situation, people begin to gather outside the club waiting for the doors to open. Sweating it out inside, the small group of four have to break the tragic news to Baby (Boss’ son) of his father’s grizzling death – but takes the news in a dreamlike, distant manner. Uneasy about Baby’s mental stability the Atlantic gang begin to become restless – especially about their catering. Arguments break out over frivolous matters, (Uncle Tommy) and the group finally settle to envisage just what their rivals are doing at that very moment.
In the climax of the fast paced story, Skinny checks downstairs to see if the coast in clear for the gang to have a little space, rather than being cooped up in a single room and finds, hanging from the ceiling… Silver Johnny. In shire panic Skinny calls for help only to find Baby with the Derringer, who shoots. Utterly perplexed and with a bullet in his head, Skinny calls for assistance. Mickey, Potts and Sweets enter and attempt to cover the wound and to calm Skinny down – whilst Baby wanders around aimlessly… Silver Johnny is lowered to the floor, and tragically, Skinny dies. Unable to save Skinny’s life, Mickey breaks down from his figure of authority and status, and kneels beside his friends body. (Imdb)

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