Journeyman

 

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Paddy Considine is the writer, director and star of his latest film.

 

Journeyman

Paddy Considine

 

Writing, directing and starring in his own film proves that for Paddy Considine Journeyman has been a labour of love. For the most part it is a success in which Considine excels in all three roles. It’s a fairly simple story about Matty Burton, a world-class champion boxer who, nearing the end of his career, knows he has to make enough money to support his wife Emma (Jodie Whittaker) and daughter Mia after his retirement from the ring. He takes on a younger and brasher opponent in Andre Bryte (Anthony Welsh) and, although he wins on points, he also loses out when forced to face the tragedy that hits him on arrival at home after the fight. He collapses, goes into a coma and is diagnosed with brain damage.

 

Far from being a film about life in the square ring, Journeyman becomes a tale of survival outside of it, as Matty endeavours to rebuild his life. He has to learn how to walk again, how to speak and to try and recover his memory. He is really out on his own with only his family as support, as his friends steer clear of the embarrassment of seeing a broken man trying to pick himself up again.

 

The scenes of his recuperation are most movingly written and played by Considine. He’s given himself a strong role, which he runs with, and he directs his screenplay with formidable sympathy. It’s a slow process of recovery for the boxer and at times Matty becomes suicidal. It is difficult not to be affected by the gruellingly tough job he has ahead of him. Considine, however, in a performance of great strength, makes him all too real. His only support comes from Whittaker as his wife, but she is a woman who feels inadequate when at times the situation gets the better of her. Paul Popplewell and Tony Pitts as Matty’s best friends also turn in fine performances.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Cast: Paddy Considine, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Popplewell, Tony Pitts, Anthony Welsh, Paul Donnelly, Steve Bunce.

 

Dir Paddy Considine, Pro Diarmid Scrimshaw, Screenplay Paddy Considine, Ph Laurie Rose, Pro Des Simon Rogers and Laura Marsh, Ed Pia Di Ciaula, Music Harry Escott, Costumes Suzanne Cave.

 

Film4/Inflammable Films-StudioCanal.

92 mins. UK. 2017. Rel: 30 March 2018. Cert. 15.