Eric Love ( Jack O´Connell arrives to serve his time in prison. He begins to adjust into his new life and try and stay focused. After a violent incident, Eric is taken to the therapist Oliver (Rupert Friend), who will try and help him with his temper. But Oliver realise this will take some time, since Eric is not in control with anything. Older prisoner Neville Love ( Ben Mendelsohn ) is Eric´s father, who were never around when Eric grew up. Here in prison, he tries to look after his son, but also make sure he behaves himself. Each day that goes by, Eric seem to have issues with other prisoners, where some of these moments go out of control. Oliver begin to take Eric into group sessions, in hope to make him more focused to become a better person. The question is, will this help at all or is Eric all out of hope ?
Before i watched Starred Up at the swedish cinema premiere week, i heard swedish film critic Ronny Svensson talk about the film on his review segment on Tv4. I understood he really liked this film, for such a powerful message about men in prison. After watching Starred Up i realise how brutal life must be behind bars in different prisons. If you don´t learn how to survive, you could be killed pretty easy, and no one would care. Starred Up is a brutal prison drama, with very powerful performances of british quality actors. Lead actor Jack O´Connell is absolutely briliant as the young cocky Eric Love, a man with anger issues and have no respect for other people. When he begins his temper, you can feel the anger, and this shows what a talented actor Jack O´Connell is. Another actor who does a really good performance is Ben Mendelsohn as Eric´s father. Once he get his temper out, you can see why his son is as angry as he is. Director David MacKenzie have directed many different motion pictures in the past, one of my personal favourite films he directed is Young Adam, with Evan McGregor. I would like to point out that even if MacKenzie have made some good films over the years, none of them are as good as Starred Up. This is an honest look behind prison life, where you never know what is going to happen. There is plenty of violence and bad language, but that is a part of prison life, so it is necessary to be in this enviroment. Since David McKenzie have worked in prison many years ago, before he became a film director, it is easy to understand he must have known how the system works behind bars. And he manage to capture that image well, with such a brutal portrait. Starred Up is the best prison drama for many years, not as good as The Shawshank Redemption, but still i recommend you have to see this one. This is a drama film that will affect you, and let you decide if the prison system is working as it should be. Starred Up delivers, and hit you hard in your face.