Tuesday, 6 October 2015
WE'RE THE SWEENEY, SON, BUT YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND A WORD WE'RE SAYING.........
Is it me or are we watching more and more films and TV dramas in which some actors mumble or talk at low volumes or munch away at the script so much that you can't make out a bloody word they say?
The latest in this lengthening list of mumble-movies that I have watched is the 2012 film The Sweeney starring Ray Winstone as Jack Regan, Ben Drew as George Carter, along with Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, Damian Lewis and others.
The best bits of what is ultimately a horrible mess of a film are the action bits when no one is talking, especially Winstone and Drew. For their parts, Atwell, Mackintosh and Lewis are pretty much crystal clear when delivering their lines.
The problem with the film is the lead character, played by Ray Winstone. Ray Winstone, great in so many things over the years, has developed into a one-trick pony, an actor who growls his way through movies and TV shows without regard to clarity and, indeed, without, it seems, much of a toss about the words he is saying. In The Sweeney television series, John Thaw as Regan was an actor who could deliver understandable lines and adapt to the changing moods of the story. Winstone might be able to actually be a clear-speaking actor and he may possess a wider range of skills but he is not showing much evidence of it in recent outings. Producers are hiring the growl.
Young Ben Drew is an energetic actor but he chooses the rat-a-tat-tat school of acting where each word crashes into the next word and on and on to the point where it just becomes one big bowl of mush. In contrast, you could understand every word that Dennis Waterman, as TV's George Carter, said back in the day.
I wonder where the fault really lies. The director? The sound guy? Surely someone on the set can hear what we hear via the big screen or the DVD. Surely, when watching the daily rushes, someone in the room could pipe up and say something. But, no. And why? I haven't a clue.
It is not just this film, of course. There are far too many examples and it appears to be getting worse.