Starring Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Alan Ford, Stephen Graham
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie
IMDB Rating: 8.3
A gritty, quirky and compelling British crime thriller – Snatch is one of the best British films ever made.
Turkish (Statham) and his accomplice Tommy (Graham) get pulled into the world of match fixing by the notorious Brick Top (Alan Ford). Things get complicated when the boxer they had lined up gets badly beaten by Mickey (Pitt), a gypsy who comes into the equation after Turkish, an unlicensed boxing promoter wants to buy a caravan off his group of Irish Gypsies. They then try to convince Mickey to throw a fight for them. Whilst all this is going on a huge diamond is stolen by Frankie Four Fingers, and lots of different criminals enter the story, all looking for a way in – or a way out.
The story is layered and complicated, and can be at points confusing and hard to follow. However, the complexities allows for many interesting and engaging characters to surface. If the story was more straightforward, we may have not had people like the comic double-act Vinny and Sol or Vinnie Jones’ Bullet-Tooth Tony, for example – and it’s the mix of people that makes this film what it is. Outlined in the introduction, there is an array of different people (with unique nicknames) in this film, each with unique behaviours and different strokes of power – from the eccentric gypsy Mickey to the dangerous and powerful Brick Top (Alan Ford). While their different characteristics make the film interesting, it’s the comedy each one brings to the film that makes this one of the best British films of all time. Now, I’m not sure how much of this film successfully translates across the pond in America, given the tone of conversation and the sarcasm involved – but I can tell you that in the UK this is a very funny movie! The comedy is clever, and how it portrays British mannerisms* hits home well in the UK.
A film like Snatch wouldn’t work without strong performances across the board. Everyone was individually funny and a joy to watch, with the aforementioned Vinny and Sol and Vinnie Jones particular highlights. Brad Pitt again shows why he was one of the best all-round actors of the noughties – however it was the performance of Alan Ford as the boxing match-fixer Brick Top that particularly caught my eye. he not only made the character intimidating, but he also made him a very funny person and a joy to watch!
This film is uniquely directed by Guy Ritchie. Many of the shots used in this film would look seriously out of place in more recent cinema – such as freeze-framing and spinning the camera on its head – but on what I would personally class as a ‘classic’ film, it works because it gives a sense of nostalgia. The same goes for using sound effects when moving the camera, but it almost adds to the comedy of the film. Cut-scenes are also used in this film and give Snatch another extra comedic dimension
Snatch may have a complicated story, but with quirky characters that are hard to take your eyes off it has to be considered as one of the best British films of all time. It cleverly puts British humour into a gritty crime movie, which may affect how it’s perceived across the pond but in Britain Snatch is not just action, but laughter in spades and spades! A must see for fans of action movies, or even if you’re just interested in British culture!
Seen Snatch? Tell us what you thought, particularly if you’re American as I’m intrigued to see how this film comes across in the States!
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*Just to clear this up – when I say ‘it portrays British mannerisms’, I’m not saying we’re all criminals! However, the way they act around each other is common, especially in London.