The first time I watched this movie was New Years Eve 2011.
And while the subject matter is that of a 40-year inmate, the movie itself isn’t as eerie as the introductory song would have you think.
“The Electrician,” stuck with me, and it had a lot to do with the visuals that Nicolas Winding Refn paired with the song.
In the opening scene, Bronson (played by Tom Hardy) is seen pacing a solitary confinement cell like a caged animal. The lighting is dark and a high contrast of red and black. Bronson is clearly preparing for when the security guards arrive to his cell. He’s seen buck naked and slicked with butter (his signature way of evading and being able to fight guards).
I’d heard of Charlie Bronson far before I watched this movie. I suppose my weird obsession with serial killers and famous prisoners paid off? I always found it fascinating that Bronson has been in prison for 40-ish years and has yet to actually kill anyone.
The Walker Brothers song couldn’t fit any more perfectly with this movie. From the minute they utter, “Baby it’s slow,” my skin crawled. Then, when the song later soars, you can tell that this movie is going to be a bit bizarre and utterly enthralling.
The Walker Brothers are quite bizarre and enthralling themselves. While I have yet to find another song in their catalogue that I like this much, they have an interesting past. They aren’t brothers, and they aren’t English, even though they mimicked the British sound. They actually moved to England, and released their music there before it made it to the United States. So, by today’s standards, they kind of did everything backwards.
Overall, if you’re looking for a movie to inspire passion or aggression, this is the one for it, and the soundtrack follows suit. Despite the cries that Bronson isn’t someone to be glamorized, I think Hardy did a great job getting inside the inmates head and presenting the story from his point of view.
The marriage of film and score is impeccable here. It’s eerie, but it’s worth your time.