Brighton Rock is not just another English gangster flick. Sure it seems like that at the go, but as we get deeper into the story the film reveals more about people and society. In this feature we pick up on Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) out to scare a rival mob member named Fred. After a brief chase and fight, Pinkie ends up murdering Fred. Pinkie would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for a young waitress named Rose (Andrea Riseborough) who had a ticket for a photo that showed Pinkie with his victim moments before the murder. If you don’t have the ticket you can’t get the photo. The plot of the film follows Pinkie as he courts Rose in an attempt to keep her from sharing his murderous secret.
Even though Pinkie is trying to keep his deed a secret, he just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. He’s in constant battle trying to murder his own boss to take over his gang as well as the entire town by wiping out another local mob. We later find out that Rose’s boss was a friend of Fred’s and is now suspicious of Pinkie. She starts seeing Pinkie coming around her restaurant and urges Rose to tell what she knows. However, whatever Pinkie did to get Rose on his side works; she professes her love for him.
Aside from English culture this film keeps your attention through Pinkie’s antics and his relationship with Rose. While Pinkie is getting into knife fights and scooter chases with other mobsters, Rose stays by his side. She loves Pinkie and will do anything for him. However, the intriguing part is, Pinkie did nothing to earn her love. He hung around her a bit and did very little talking. At one point he asks her why she’s there and she states simply that she just wants a life. Pinkie took his rouge to the highest level and married Rose. Once married, she moves in to Pinkie’s flat where she isn’t allowed to touch anything. Not listening to orders Rose defies him, goes through his things and steals some money. In fact there were many times during the film it seemed like Rose had a hidden agenda and that she was smarter than the audience was lead to believe. She must realize that Pinkie never really loved her right?
Brighton Rock is set in Brighton, a village in England. Through this film we also get to see glimpses of Brighton’s beautiful pier and countryside. This fact alone makes the film worth seeing. The audience is immersed in English culture of the time. The director (Rowan Joffe) doesn’t change any of the slang that may have been used during the time. It’s up to the audience to figure it out. The film takes place during the 1960s, a time when “Mods and Rockers” were at battle. One particular scene shows Pinkie trying to use a giant Mod-Rocker fight as a distraction of his attempt to murder his mob’s boss. Those historical details make Brighton Rock worth checking out.