Saturday, 30 July 2011
It's All Too Much
I first saw 'The Offence' in the late eighties, coming in at midnight after a night at the pub and flaking in front of the TV to watch the Friday film. I think I had some chips with me. By the time it had finished, I was completely sober and deeply depressed: it's pretty serious shit, and I just wasn't prepared for it.
One of the pet projects Sean Connery got to make for returning to the Bond franchise in 'Diamonds Are Forever', 'The Offence' was directed by the brilliant American film maker Sidney Lumet, although it's very much a British film. Shot on location in Bracknell, it shows us the aftermath of a fatal interrogation by a veteran Police Officer who simply cannot cope with the pressure anymore. When he questions a suspect in a child rape case the parallels between them are too much to take, so he beats him to death in anger and disgust and a sudden burst of self-awareness.
Imbued with a creepy, clinging atmosphere of foreboding, it's by no means an easy film to watch, and is certainly not recommended to those of a morbid disposition. But then that's the point, isn't it? It's an olive, grey and brown world of suicide, murder, rape and abduction, rain and mud and unhappy marriages and poky flats and dead kids and too many cigarettes and sheepskin bloody coats and stewed tea and 'Please, Sir' and killing a man because he knows what's inside you...what did you expect, a musical comedy?