Gangster (Inception Media Group, NR)

dvd gangsterFerris’s story, filled with drugs, stabbings, shootings, blindings, and other sickly violence, defines him as one of the most feared gangsters in history.

 

“Be a lion, son, don’t be a lamb.” From the streets of Scotland’s roughest neighborhood comes Gangster, a story of pure hatred and revenge. Based on the true life and crimes of notorious gangster Paul Ferris, this film begins with an openhearted, bullied boy who soon proceeds to avenge the street thugs who made his childhood a rough, living hell.

Paul Ferris, now a writer, was once a felon brought up in Glasgow during the 1960s. Bullied throughout his early years by the Welsh brothers, he began his criminal life by stabbing them multiple times (and enjoying it, not feeling scared for the first time in his life) when he was around the age of 17. Two years later, Ferris started working for two rival gang bosses: The Snake and Arthur “The Godfather” Thompson. As a debt collector, he was arrested and charged many, many times over the stretch of time he worked for them. Soon enough, betrayal led to massacre, and Ferris decided to work the streets alone. His story, filled with drugs, stabbings, shootings, blindings, and other sickly violence, as well as corruption and murder, define him as one of the most feared gangsters in history.

Directed by Ray Burdis, Gangster leads us through the story of Ferris in a dynamic and engaging way, with powerful close-ups and emotional flashback sequences to when he looked at the same Scotland streets through innocent-youngster eyes. Martin Compston (Filth, The Disappearence of Alice Creed) as well as Denis Lawson (Star Wars), John Hannah (The Mummy), and Patrick Bergin (Eye of Beholder, Patriot Games), do a nice job of adding the necessary spark to differentiate this gangster movie from all the rest. But (spoiler alert!) like most gangster crime films, the story of Paul Ferris does not end with everyone living happily ever after. He turns his back on crime—but even Rita Thompson, The Godfather’s wife, died of a broken heart…as we learn from the story-clarifying end titles. | Lea Vrábelová

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