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Film One Star

Saxon is a strange film and is described as a modern day western set on a housing estate in England, something that does describe it well, although it misses the noir touch that the film also carries.

However although these styles and genres are apparent in the film there's just too much trying to be pushed into it in terms of styles, but the story really lets the film down, despite it's potential.

The film has Fast Eddie returning from prison after killing a bailiff on the estate with his mum. Before he went away he borrowed five hundred pounds and now the loan shark is looking for ten thousand in return. His first warning was his first eye, and the second will be next.

When he returns to the estate he finds that the local celebrity, an ex-boxer turned quiz show winner, has disappeared and his wife is desperate to find him. So Eddie offers to find him, in return for the money to pay off the loan sharks.

Instantly you'll recognise the male and female leads of Sean Harris, who plays Eddie, and Sarah Matravers who plays Linda, as they've both had strong careers on British television. They actually provide one of the best scenes of the film when their characters play off of each other with some clever and funny dialogue popping back and forth between them.

Sean Harris plays a character that he so often seems to be in so many other television shows and films, he just ambles along, a little confused and a bit slow in both thought and action. His character isn't very likeable and he really doesn't do anything to make him so.

However the styles that upfront make the film sound interesting, actually crowd it out and seem to struggle for position. It would have been enough to keep the western style there, in fact if that had been throughout the film it would have been much, much better, but it fights with comedy, a noir-ish feel and at times there are a few little kicks of style that crowd it even more. One of these scenes is when there's a chase and a dance beat kicks in and we see another style, and it's just too much at this point, it just doesn't seem to know what it is trying to be.

There's a similar feeling for the story which seems to waddle about and then suddenly leaps in stops and starts. There are some glaring problems that I really struggled with, such as the fact that Eddie knows the last place the boxer was seen was the curry house, but it's not until late on in the film that he decides to visit it.

Well you could argue that events would keep him from visiting it, but it doesn't, he just ambles along waiting for things to happen to him as he does things like door to door canvassing.

It's moments like this that just don't seem to fit and make the story seem messy and unstructured, and for every little scene that did this I felt myself backing out of the film.

I think if the film had concentrated on one main style and the script had been sharpened, we might have really seen a good western set in a modern day council estate. Unfortunately it just didn't work with Saxon.

Despite moments of well written dialogue, the multiple styles and annoyingly odd character decisions really do make this a confused film.

Filmstalker Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007
UK IMDB Film Details



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