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‘44 Inch’ Director Enjoyed ‘Emotional’ Journey

17 Apr, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

The premise of 44 Inch Chest is brutally simplistic: A Londoner has his wife’s lover tied and beaten in front of him, while his four friends look on and gleefully root for murder (using extremely colorful language).

But as we get inside the head of this distraught man (Ray Winstone of Sexy Beast), what starts as a simple tale of revenge morphs into a complex, blow-by-blow look at his crumbling psyche. Does he kill the man or let him go? Should his cheating wife be tied up and beaten as well? Heads or tails? Is he going insane?

Really, about the only thing the viewer can count on in 44 Inch Chest is the constant stream of obscenities.
Image Entertainment streets the tense drama April 20 on DVD ($27.98) and Blu-ray ($35.98).

“It was an emotional experience, the entire thing,” said director Malcolm Venville about his first feature film. “I’m really excited for the [DVD and Blu-ray Disc] release. I think that’s where the movie will really find its audience.”

Venville used only one camera for the entire film, which is fitting since most of 44 Inch Chest takes place in one dank, abandoned room.

“It was a really big decision,” he said. “It galvanized the entire shoot through one portal.”

With the cast Venville had at his disposal, fancy camera tricks weren’t required: John Hurt (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Ian McShane (“Deadwood”), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, Rock N Rolla) and Stephen Dillane (The Hours, John Adams) make for a fine quartet of foul-mouthed Brits.

One of the bonus features on the discs is a series of epilogues, with the characters sharing what happened to them after the credits rolled.

“That was all originally in the script, and we couldn’t leave it out,” Venville said. “The great thing about DVD and Blu-ray is we could take advantage of all these excellent pieces of acting.”

Also included with both releases is an interview with Venville, a making-of featurette and a commentary that Venville called “therapeutic.”

As for all the four-letter bombs that can’t be spoken in mixed company, Venville said that while it’s shocking, it’s not meant for shock value.

“It’s part of the dialect,” he said. “It’s authentic East London language, and it goes back to Chaucer. This is the way these people speak.”

@&*#ing right.

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