Rufus Norris’ film focuses on a young girl who is forced to grow up very quickly after witnessing a brutal attack in her neighbourhood…
Broken is a multi-stranded story featuring Tim Roth’s single father who is raising two children. The entire story mainly centres on the young daughter, Skunk, who is diabetic and is just starting to discover the world for the first time.
Broken has been very well received, picking up a number of awards nominations at the 2012 BIFA’s and winning in the category of Best British Independent Film. The first thing that makes Broken a good film is that the performances are fantastic. Cillian Murphy is terrific and Tim Roth is always a watchable presence, but rising star, Eloise Lawrence, is particularly astonishing. She is, in many ways, the absolute centre of the drama; she lends real heart and soul, and is this strange mixture of being reticent and yet very confident at the same time. During the film, there is a lovely little story about her relationship with this young boy, Dillan, and this happens almost as a side-strand to the main story and is beautifully well observed when the two start to build a relationship out in a wasteland area. Their story is really engrossing, really well played and done in such a way that has you believing in those two characters.
Rufus Norris, who is also a theatre director, grounds the whole film in a bleak, yet whimsical-like reality that has touches of Ken Loach and Lynne Ramsey’s work throughout. It’s based on a novel that itself was inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird, but though it has the elements of lurid melodrama, especially towards the end, it is the quiet moments that define Norris’s atmospheric and elegant film, making for an unusual coming-of-age story set against the disconnect of today’s “broken” Britain. It is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it, and that is the true power that this film possesses.