Bob Williams is a survivor. He supplements his dole by becoming embroiled in whatever scam is on offer, from rustling sheep to rodding drains. But now life has dealt him a bitter blow. His van has been stolen and his daughter, Coleen, is approaching her first communion. She needs the traditional white dress, shoes, veil and gloves. Where on earth is the money going to come from?
Gritty and realistic but with considerable warmth and humour
- Raining Stones review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
Set on a council estate in Langley, Middleton, an overspill housing area for Manchester, the film tells the story of the life and hard times of Bob, who wants his daughter to have a (costly) new dress for her first communion. Out of work, he resorts first to dodgy deals and then in desperation to borrowing the money, which results in a loan shark and local hard man terrorising his family; Bob then takes his revenge.
Told with humour as Bob (played by Bruce Jones) and his mate Tommy (played by Ricky Tomlinson) bumble around trying to raise money through assorted ill thought out schemes. The film is typical of Ken Loach's work, with the message that the British working class are hard done by and driven to desperate deeds by the system. The film is gritty and realistic but with considerable warmth, the characters are believable, and Bob is portrayed as a fundamentally decent man, the victim of unavoidable circumstances. 4/5 stars. Highly recommended.