REVIEW: The Angels’ Share

20 06 2016

The Angels' ShareDirector Ken Loach is often a polemicist more than a storyteller, and the tendency seems to get only more aggrieved with age (or the general state of the world). Lucky for us, “The Angels’ Share” marks a rare occasion where Loach takes his foot off the progressive political throttle and shifts into a more humanistic gear.

The film follows the uphill battle faced by Paul Brannigan’s Robbie, an ill-behaved chap from Glasgow who manages to narrowly avoid prison time for his misdeeds. Instead, he gets assigned community service, and the act winds up giving him the perspective to start getting his house in order. With his girlfriend recently bringing their child into the world, Robbie finds reason to walk the straight and narrow.

“The Angels’ Share” can be quite moving in these scenes centered around truth, consequences and redemption. But towards the end, the film starts to veer off course as it devolves into a chipper heist film. Robbie takes an ill-advised step in the wrong direction for the right reason, and the film follows him down the rabbit hole. The lighter tone might have worked were it not so inconsistent with the raw emotional honesty of earlier portions of the film. As such, Loach’s film comes across as messy but sincere – just like Robbie and his gang. C+2stars

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