So I watched Snatch…
This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever watched. I remember the first time I watched it after a friend recommended it, I didn’t expect much but was left on the floor rolling around in laughter. It’s some of Guy Ritchie’s best work.
Okay, basic plot: After a diamond is stolen in Antwerp, it finds its way to London intersecting the lives of various criminals in London’s underground. Turkish (Jason Statham) is a underground boxing promoter who finds himself in the debt of ruthless gangster, Brick Top (Alan Ford) and a crafty Romani called Mickey O’Neil (Brad Pitt). Vinny and Sol (Robby Gee and Lennie Jones, respectively) are two small-time crooks who find themselves out of their depth after taking a job from Boris The Blade (Rade Šerbedžija), worse than that they’re also being hunted by Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) and Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina). With all these men fighting to gain the upper hand and keep their lives, things tend to get messy.
That was one of the most difficult synopses I’ve ever had to write because Snatch has such a non-linear storyline. It’s reminiscent to Pulp Fiction in that way and I mean that as a roaring compliment. Ritchie’s movies always have this frantic, kinetic style to them. Multiple stories exist simultaneously, some of them intersecting, some of them remaining completely independent of each other. It’s such an engaging film to watch because you have to be alert as settings and characters constantly change. This is – without doubt – my favourite Guy Ritchie film and while I still have to see Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch is going to be difficult to beat.
Now with such a large assortment of characters, comes the need for an ensemble cast. There is a plethora of acting talent on display in this film. One of the most notable performances is that of Jason Statham. I was first introduced to Statham through The Transporter series of films and similar action movies. I’ve always had a very narrow view of his acting talent. He showed his comedic chops in Spy but way before that, he showcased his comedic skills in this film. His character – Turkish – is the ‘main character’ (if such a film can have one of those) and serves as the linchpin of the story. Statham isn’t kicking any ass but he’s as badass and entertaining as ever.
Another performance that stands out is – of course – Brad Pitt’s turn as Mickey O’Neil. Mickey is Romani and has a very particular accent. I think Turkish describes it best with these words: “Now there is a problem with pikeys or gypsies – you can’t really understand much of what’s being said. It’s not Irish; it’s not English. It’s just, well…you know. It’s just Pikey.” Pitt’s accent is hilarious. I’ve never met a Romani or watched any other films that feature that accent so I don’t know whether it’s authentic or not; all I know is that every time Pitt opened his mouth, I almost died of laughter. Though to be fair, every character in this movie causes fits of laughter. The script is just so well written and the acting so classy.
I have to praise Guy Ritchie again because his work as this film’s screenwriter and director is absolutely superb. This is a silky, smooth look at London’s criminal fraternity but also a no-holds-barred comedy where the characters almost seem too ridiculous to be real. There’s one encounter between Boris The Blade and Bullet Tooth Tony that is one of my favourite scenes from any movie ever. Boris has a reputation for being particularly difficult to kill and Tony finds this out first hand. It’s just so well-written and full of humour just like the rest of the film.
Overall, Snatch is HILARIOUS. I’ve watched it a few times and each time I do I find something new to laugh at. Ritchie does fantastic work behind the camera and has a cast who do marvelous work in front of it. It’s a film you definitely need to watch.