Broken (2012)

Skunk: "I said I was sorry; you have to say it's okay."
By Rufus Norris
With Eloise Laurence, Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy

The main reason I decided to watch Broken was because of Cillian Murphy. He is one of the most ambivalent actor there is and he is always very convincing in his roles. The good ratings, the synopsis, as well as the cast -- featuring Tim Roth -- made me decide on seeing it.

Broken takes place in the UK where Skunk, a young girl, notices one of her neighbors beating up another one of her neighbors. We learn more about the attack as the story unfolds and we follow Skunk through her complex family, her issues, school and hideouts.

The movie reminded me of Nothing Is Private (2007) which I really liked, however, Broken failed to pull me in. I felt lost in a story depicting events happening to characters I did not really understand and who had relationships with other characters that I did not understand either. The acting is not the issue, nor is the story, which overall is very decent although not very original as I seem to remember a few movies with similar scripts, but more in the range of the narrative and how everything unfolds. There are some flashbacks or dream-like sequences which are hard to make any sense of. There are characters who act impulsively and repeatedly without any sense of rationality and no one seems to try to do anything about it. There is a sense of over-dramatization with every character falling into a spiral of rough events and there is no lesson to be learnt from any of them, except that maybe that karma might just exist.

I liked: Good acting from the main characters. Some good ideas are thrown in.

I disliked: Felt superfluous to me. I was unable to understand most of the characters actions or motivations. Over-the-top symbolism, including the use of a church as a place between life and death. I didn't feel the movie ultimately reached a goal or demonstrated a moral.

I don't know who I would recommend this movie to, however, this movie had a lot of praise and awards so I might simply have not been receptive to its message.


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