Danish writer-director Nicolas Winding Refn kicked off his career in 1996 with Pusher, a film that follows a harrowing week in the life of a Copenhagen dealer who finds the screws being relentlessly screwed tighter on his life, and sanity. This London based 2012 remake sees us following the highs and lows of Frank (Richard Coyle), whose life is spiraling out o control with his addiction to his own product and a deepening debt to his Serbian Mob boss supplier.
The film is a burst of frenetic energy that drags us screaming through several layers of London’s nightlife, the upbeat if overbearing noise of the nightclubs to the strip bars and on to the poor addicted bastard running a pathetic pet shop in his twilight years.
It’s like Frank is experiencing the worst week of his life, where nothing seems to go his way, and as he struggles to stay in control of his life and his sanity he strays far from the person he thought he was, beating his own best friend senseless.
It’s on the one hand a gripping tale of self destruction fueled by addiction and aspiration, but on the other hand feels a little too crazy to be coherent. But maybe that’s the genius of this drug infused tale of despair.
R18 Violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read