Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn it is a striking look at how a man from a respectable family became one of the most notorious prisoners in Britain, persistently causing havoc in the system by staging riots, protests and taking hostages.
Born Michael Peterson and later re-named by his fight promoter in the 1970s – he has spent 34 years of his life in prison, and 28 of those in solitary confinement.
Although on the surface it might seem like another British gangster film, it is actually a very interesting and often darkly funny look at an extraordinary character.
Much of the strength of the film comes from the fact that it eschews the usual biopic route by having Bronson as narrator.
Can we trust him? Probably not, but that is what makes the film interesting as he refuses to blame his background and admits to being a strange kind of fame seeking performer.
Tom Hardy (who actually met with the real life Bronson in prison) gives a remarkable performance in the title role and Refn directs proceedings with considerable style and pace.
Extras on the DVD include:
- Director’s Commentary
- Cast and Crew interviews
- Audio Introduction from Charles Bronson
Bronson is out now on DVD
N.B. This should have been included in my DVD picks this week but slipped through the net. Apologies.