Tom Hardy wasn’t first on the table for discussion after anyone saw “Inception,” simply because there was just so much to talk about. Yet once all the disagreement over the ending and what Christopher Nolan intended to be real was over, everyone could pretty much settle on one thing – that British guy Eames was a great scene stealer. He did, after all, deliver one of the movie’s few laughs with “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”
Curious on what could have prompted Nolan to cast such an unknown actor in a high-profile role in a $175 million movie, I went back to Hardy’s roots and discovered his big breakout, a small British action-thriller entitled “Bronson.” It’s a great masculine movie, filled with merciless fighting and almost ceaseless violence. (Sounds like a great date night rental, doesn’t it, ladies!)
While he was born Michael Peterson, Britain’s most dangerous prisoner will go to the grave as Charles Bronson, his fighting name. He’s a ball of destruction that ultimately becomes too much for the country’s jails to handle. Strangely enough, this is a man sprung from a fairly affluent middle-class family who had nowhere to go but up. And perhaps that’s one of the movie’s messages – it doesn’t matter where you come from if you have violent tendencies. They will take over you.
These violent outbursts land Bronson in the slammer, which hardly calms or rehabilitates him. He sees it like a stage where his violence is his show for a hardly-impressed audience of guards. The film perfectly captures the theatrical nature of Bronson’s violence, even spoon-feeding it to those who don’t pick up on it from Hardy’s brilliant portrayal of obsession. Because of this, “Bronson” is more than just your average prison thriller. It’s a portrait of a potentially demented man who will throw a punch no matter what the consequences are guaranteed to get the testosterone pumping through your body.