Brassed Off!: A true review
An honest review about the movie Brassed Off
Just look at the cover on the right. What does that suggest to you? What sort of film do you expect from a DVD with a cover like that? I rather imagine that you would expect a light-hearted comedy girl-meets-boy romp, wouldn't you?
You would be so wrong. They'd have been far better off asking me to design it. :)
Of course, it's funny
It takes place in Yorkshire. Yorkshire people are funny. We have to be. If you know anything about this history of God's Own County, then you'll know that its people have no option. If we didn't see the funny side, we'd have become as extinct as the dinosaur.
Yes, you'll laugh, but you'll cry too.
My eyes water the second the film starts
Yes, that's because I know what's coming, that's true. But there's another aspect too. Brass band music. To Yorkshire people, brass band music is somehow hard-wired into our brains. Maybe we remember the Salvation Army bands at Christmas - maybe it's more deep-rooted than that.
The mining village of Grimethorpe
This film is based on the story of the coal mining village. Historically, mining was the only industry and formed its only economy. Like most northern pits, there was an incredibly talented brass band.
There really wasn't much to do in Grimethorpe. The band provided entertainment and just for the locals - it was incredibly well-respected. But of course, its fortunes and future were tied to the coal mining industry.
A comedy with tragedy
A couple of years before this film was made, Grimethorpe was classed as the most impoverished village in the UK. It was certainly the most hopeless. The miners' strike in the previous decade had seen to that and pits throughout the region were closing and its men becoming unemployed. This had a knock-on effect on the whole local community.
I don't have the words to tell you more
You have to see for yourself.
Note that the music throughout the film is played by the real Grimethorpe Colliery Band with a few actors playing the parts of some musicians.
1.The band have won the prestigious award. The conductor, Danny, was too ill to attend but comes onto the stage and explains about how the men have lost their jobs. Tissue alert, profanity alert but worth watching.
2. This is a real event that I used to go to composed of competing bands, marching. Notice how the band progressively get more & more drunk. So true to life!
3. Band practice. Gloria has been away from her hometown but has returned. She asks to sit in. She has been practicing Concierto de Aranjuez or 'orange juice' as the lads call it.
4. Severe tissue alert. Danny is seriously ill. The band go to the hospital and by the light of their pit helmets,play Danny Boy. Note the lad with the cut on his temple is Danny's son and Andy is whistling because he's had to sell his horn.
5. The official trailer.
Watch this and tell me that this film is a light-hearted comedy. I imagine that the graphic designer who created the DVD cover above had never even seen the film. Oh and remember this is English - profanity alert near the end of the clip.
My ex played the trumpet in a brass band and we used to go to this very contest. It's actually as much of a drinking contest as a musical contest. Everyone ends up thoroughly plastered. A great day out.
Gloria has come back to Grimethorpe. She joins the band practice. The lads think that she'll be so bad. Whilst mining officials decide the fate of the pit, the band plays Concierto de Aranjuez - 'de orange juice' as they call it.
Danny, the conductor is seriously ill. The band go to the grounds of the hospital and play Danny Boy by the light of their pit helmets. Andy has to whistle because he's had to sell his tenor horn. It's essential to watch this to the end.
The official trailer.
This shows our house keys. See the key ring? The two brass squares belonged to himself's dad when he was a miner in the Grimethorpe area.
For the brass band fan
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band is internationally respected and renown today. If you want to hear more, here it is. This is a great gift for the brass band fanatic - or for a Yorkshire person. It's the music of our roots.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson