Broken Screen 4 articles

Broken

2012

Broken Poster
  • Norris displays a keen visual sense of mystery and sensuality, compressing images in brief montages to suggest episodes that are slipping by before the characters can properly understand them. (He appears to have been influenced by the films of Shane Meadows.) Broken eventually succumbs to routine, and I'll be happy if I never see another film that treats mental illness, however tastefully, as fodder for another character's maturation again, but it's still a haunting, unexpectedly ambitious gem.

  • The first feature from British theater director Rufus Norris deftly mixes gritty realism and lyrical impressionism, though its five-car pileup of a climax ultimately makes the film feel less a Greek tragedy than a miniseries in miniature.

  • What had been a lovely, gossamer-thin, anecdotal slice of life abruptly turns melodramatic and cruel, culminating in a garishly cheesy New Age finale right out of a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. But while this third-act meltdown badly damages the movie, it doesn’t erase the assured, preternatural confidence that first-time director Rufus Norris demonstrates before the material finally overwhelms him.

  • Even if some of the players never transcend two dimensions, there’s a grace to Norris’ overarching, expressionistic portrait of the way regret, resentment, and fury often conspire to foster only more of the same. Everything culminates with a closing sequence of shared father-daughter catharsis that shamelessly but effectively tugs at the heartstrings.