17
Jan 02

Last Orders:

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 192 views

Last Orders: As I said below in the cursory review of the hideous Coronet, I like movies and I like pubs. Therefore I’m going to like a movie about pub culture, right? Even if it is named after that most loathesome of phrases uttered from behind the bar – Last Orders. A film about four pub cronies and their journey to scatter one of their numbers ashes at Margate, it starts well in their local – The Coach And Horses. These are old men who have spent their lives together in and out of this pub and liking and disliking one another. Unfortunately I was sold a pup wie the film leaves the pub it descends into a too sketchy look at the men avoiding the one thing that drew them together. Their local.

I think there is a really good film to be made about boozers, in particular the way that a bunch of men who may not otherwise see each other or sociabond for a couple of hours with a drink against the bar. Last Orders never really priorotises the importance of the pub itself to them, except for in its opening minutes. Later drinking is seen as merely a crutch, an amusing foible of the David Hemmings character who wants to stop off for beer on the way. The film is based on the Booker Prize winning novel of Graham Swift which manages better to delve into the lives of these complex characters. The film necessarily only skates over them (and does so whilst giving our old protagonists some rubbish hair-do’s in the bargain – Hoskins various syrups are a marvel to behold). Therefore these characters appear almost melodramatic, and too much has happened to them in their lives to make the film particularly realistic. Pub freinds are not necessarily beholden to each other in these ways, the whole interesting aspect of pub culture is its looseness with regards to individual bonds.

It is an entertaining film, but also falls down in the one area I was hoping for more from. The film is set in 1989 (to adequately explain away the characters ages I suppose) and yet there are constant continuity gaffes with moderncars and modern pricings. The pub stopped into in Canturbury was even doing table service! Couple this with the some times unconvincing flashbacks – the only way of denoting the 70’s pub is everyone in Afghan coats. Last Orders is an okay movie, but it was not the one I was looking for – the definitive film about pub life is yet to come I hope.

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