Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle, 2015)


Barney Thomson, directed by Robert Carlyle (a.k.a. The legend of Barney Thomson, 2015)

Score: fun and entertaining.

Barney Thomson (Robert Carlyle) is a dull and awkward Glasgow denizen; after a lifelong career as a barber, he finally gets demoted to the worst spot at the shop where he has always worked, allegedly, because he doesn’t make small talk with customers. His mother (Emma Thompson) is a foul-mouthed, gambling and party-loving old lady who despises Barney’s quiet, mediocre life, and police officer Holdall (Ray Winstone) is on the lookout for a serial killer that mails body parts to the families of their victims. Barney’s life is going to change forever after a very unfortunate accident involving his pair of barber’s scissors.

Barney Thomson mostly exploits the comic value of the grotesque and does it well. While it’s not side-splitting it manages to be entertaining and engaging and has a good pace. The fish-out-of-water protagonist, along with the bizarre characters, is not something new or completely unexpected, but the movie manages to avoid a clichéd ending.

The acting is more than correct in a movie with no big one-liners or slapstick. I would have preferred an actual old lady instead of an artificially aged Emma Thompson, but famous faces sell.

Good watch for a rainy evening.

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