The Selfish Giant (2013) starring Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Ralph Ineson, Ian Burfield, Everal Walsh directed by Clio Barnard Movie Review

The Selfish Giant (2013)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas in The Selfish Giant (2013)

Copper is Gold

Both Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas) come from troubled families on a Badford council estate with Arbor needing medication to control his ADHD/ Hyper activism disorder. When they find themselves being expelled from school for fighting Abhor decides they should go and work for scrap dealer Kitten (Sean Gilder), stealing copper wire for him. But with Kitten impressed with Swifty as he handles his horses Arbor gets jealous and decides to steal some bales of copper from Kitten to sell to another scrap yard. The plan backfires and Kitten demands Abhor steal some high voltage cable which Swifty having always looked out for him agrees to help him with. Unfortunately both are ignorant at the risks of dealing with high voltage cable.

Before I watched "The Selfish Giant" I tried to get an idea of what it was about as I had never heard of it. What I found was lots of people mentioning an Oscar Wilde short story and the rawness of Ken Loach along with various comments which sounded pretentious. Hey look each to their own and if you like to waffle about the sub context of a swear word so be it but I am more down to earth. As such what I am going to tell you that "The Selfish Giant" is raw, it is not mainstream and it is hard hitting but it is also entertaining and anything but pretentious.

Sean Gilder in The Selfish Giant (2013)

Now it is very simple as we are thrown into the rough world of teenagers Arbor and Swifty living on a Bradford council estate where there is no hope at all for any of the kids other than to claim benefits, steal stuff and do drugs whilst putting up with abuse from those who are older. As Arbor and Swifty end up in the illegal world of cable theft for a scarp merchant their friendship is put to the test as Arbor becomes jealous of Swifty. All of this leads to trouble a shocking scene which will affect anyone who watches it.

But here is the truth; what grabs your attention about "The Selfish Giant" is the raw realism of it all as we meet Arbor with his shaggy hair having started to grow out from having parts of it shaved, his ripped jacket, every over world a swear word and a whole lot more. It grips you as does scenes such an illegal horse race along the roads as the drivers following in their cars smash into each other. It is so raw that you won't be able to take your eyes off of it for a minute and so real yet at the same time it is shocking as we see what these two get up to and think to ourselves surely not.

What this all boils down to is that "The Selfish Giant" is one of those movies that if you only do mainstream might be off putting especially if you have read some of the opinions which are out there about this movie. But I say give it a go as it is raw and real and you won't be able to take your eyes off of it for a minute it is that compelling.