35 MM PROJECTIETuesday 3 December
Guy Ritchie, UK 2000
With a plot a bit too complicated to summarise here, anyone watching Snatch, whether for the first or umpteenth time, is in for a treat. Gangs, metropolises, diamonds, boxing matches and gambling – what’s not to love? And all this drenched in an astounding array of accents, brought to you by actors in outstanding form, whether Benicio del Toro in a bit part as Franky Four Fingers, a diamond thief, or the likes of Jason Statham, Dennis Farina and Goldie (Ritchie’s previous picture featured Sting, who was blown away by the script).
Regular visitors to VERA may have noticed an uptick in volunteer and staff get-togethers, all to mark the departure of all-round favourite employee Sigo. Of course Zienema had to commemorate this somehow as well, and asked him if he would like to select a movie to screen, thus becoming the first non-Zienema member to have such a farewell film.
There are countless reasons to watch Snatch, but bring it up with someone who’s seen it and invariably Brad Pitt will be mentioned in his role as Irish Traveller boxer, Mickey ‘One Punch’ O’Neill. His indescribable utterings, intended to portray something along the lines of Shelta, were widely panned by British critics as the worst Irish accent ever. Be that as it may, they remain a cinematic high point to this day, with Pitt’s performance as engaging as always – True Romance stoner style. Audiences crowded to the theatres, and rightly so, to enjoy Guy Ritchie’s second crime caper, following his (critically acclaimed) success two years earlier with his debut feature, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a movie every bit as wonderful as its name, despite some of the most difficult to understand dialogue for many claiming to understand English. Throw a couple of actual London hoods into the acting mix, and most of the audience will gratefully put up with subtitles. Among an array of actors making their acting debut in it was ex-Welsh national squad footballer Vinnie Jones, who also features in Snatch.
The movie also marked the start of Ritchie’s collaboration with producer Matthew Vaughn, who would go on to delight sensitive and discerning connoisseurs of cinema with Kick-Ass and the Kingsman movies. Another reason to watch Snatch is simply to hear the soundtrack, every bit as good as its predecessor’s, which would ultimately lead Madonna to wed Ritchie, after releasing the soundtrack on her label. So, simply speaking, there is no reason in the world not to hurry off to VERA of a Tuesday night – as always – for some prime movie and music action.