11 year old Skunk (Eloise Laurence) lives in her respectable house in a cul-de-sac with her father Archie (Tim Roth) and Kasia (Zana Marjanovic), an au pair who has looked after her ever since her mother left. On the same street lives the Oswalds and it is Mr. Oswald (Rory Kinnear) who attacks neighbour Rick (Robert Emms) when his daughter in a moment of fear when a condom is found says that Rick had sex with her. Despite things eventually being cleared up after the police get involved there is tension in the street and there is tension else where as Skunk is about to start secondary school and her teacher is going to be Mike (Cillian Murphy) who has been dating Kasia whilst Skunk has a crush on Dillon (George Sergeant).
The British soap "Eastenders" takes place in a square and in the course of a year you will see drama such as drug abuse, mental conditions, financial difficulties, fights and basically everything and anything under the sun. The British movie "Broken" predominantly takes place in a quintessentially British cul-de-sac and somehow more drama than you see in a year of "Eastenders" appears in this movie. In many ways that is the problem with "Broken" it is trying to do too much in too shorter of time that it ends up episodic and rushed, not allowing the characters to form but just be which is always an issue.
The fact that "Broken" tries too cover too much is a shame because right from the word go it is interesting with director Rufus Norris using a disjointed styling to create impact as we start with a violent beating and then learn why the beating takes place but then see the consequences of it as the police are called in and the not all there Rick is arrested. It is a very clever opening and throughout the movie Norris gives us more of these interesting slices of life which you might find in a town but not all in one cul-de-sac.
But despite this "Broken" from start to finish impresses with good acting especially from young Eloise Laurence who wows with her blend of childish innocence but then with a touch of teen burden creeping in. In many ways Skunk is the most developed character in the movie which helps matters as elsewhere the likes of Tim Roth and Rory Kinnear deliver the high standard of performance you suspect but are undone by working with characters who have no real development they are what they are and so it is hard for the audience to really know them.
What this all boils down to is that "Broken" is an entertaining movie and features a wonderful performance from Eloise Laurence but at the same time it suffers from over crowding as it has too much going on for a 90 minute movie.