It’s a respectful and realistic performance that bases itself in a loss of empathy, but a yearn for its return

Paddy Considine, a tremendous actor in his own right, is quickly becoming one of the most aware and empathetic British directors working in cinema. Known for his accurate and affecting films detailing small town British life, his features open up the lives of ordinary people often forgotten about in mainstream cinema.

World Middleweight Champion Matty Burton (Paddy Considine) is approaching the end of his career. Determined to fight one last time, he agrees to box a foul-mouthed up-and-coming fighter known as The Future. Returning home post-fight, Matty begins to experience an extreme headache, and after being quickly rushed to hospital, his wife Emma (Jodie Whittaker) must now accept her husband is no longer the man he once was.

Journeyman 2

Journeyman is embodied by its struggles. More than any of his other films, it’s clear how Considine’s vision has not been matched by the final production value of the feature. His small budget and human touch is often an impassioned plus to his style of feature, but Journeyman really needed a strong sense of expansiveness to reign clear, giving Matty’s fall from grace the full impact it needed. The early scenes desired a bravado and a confidence that they just don’t have. It isn’t necessarily a mark on Considine’s work, rather the failure in belief from production companies working with lesser known film makers.

However, past this issue of small natured production, lies a terrific performance from Considine that neither plays up the demand of the role, nor alienates and offends those with similar issues or those who know of such individuals. It’s a respectful and realistic performance that bases itself in a loss of empathy, but a yearn for its return. It’s an incredibly descriptive effort from Considine, and one that turns the film on its head for the better.

Journeyman is very much a story of understanding and acceptance. It is able to deal with tough issues in an apathetic and approachable way, without dumbing down the subject matter. The script is raw and realistic, in the most passionate of forms, and that allows for the truly emotional moments to sucker punch past all feebles Journeyman definitely has.

3/5

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