Friday, February 19, 2016

Favorite Scene Friday! Snatch: Car-lamity!

Snatch was Guy Ritchie's 2000 follow-up to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, one of the more successful results of the cinematic landscape aping Tarantino's stylistic, tightly woven approach to modern film-making. Retaining many of the same cast and crew members as Lock, Stock (including Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng, Vinnie Jones, Alan Ford and producer Matthew Vaughn), Snatch tracks two oft-intersecting storylines revolving around illegal boxing matches and a stolen diamond. It's full of entertaining scenes, witty dialogue and colourful characters by way of the incredible performances from the actors. In my opinion the best of these roles are the supremely foul-mouther Brick Top (Ford), the mumbling, gambling-addicted Franky Four-Fingers (Benicio del Toro) and the pikey boxer Mickey "One Punch" O'Neil (Brad Pitt, in perhaps his finest and most unintelligible performance ever) yet my favourite scene features none of these three, but involves pretty much every other major player in one of the first instances of all the strands coming together,

Let's set the scene. Turkish (Statham) and his belittled associate Tommy (Stephen Graham) are trying to find Russian arms dealer Boris the Blade (Rade Šerbedžija), as the gun he sold Tommy is faulty. Turkish is drinking chocolate milk that Tommy thinks is bad for his digestion. Meanwhile, Bullet-Tooth Tony (Jones), Cousin Avi (Dennis Farina) and Avi's associate Rosebud (Sam Douglas) have recently kidnapped Boris and have him bound and with a bag over his head in the boot of their car, having just searched his house and found a large 86-carat diamond in Boris' suitcase. They leave Boris' house discussing how best to kill the Russian, opting for the large sword Tony keeps in the back seat. Following their car are Sol (Lennie James) and Vinny (Robbie Gee), two low-level pawn shop owners with criminal ambitions above their abilities. They're after the diamond too, having been commissioned by Boris to steal it in the first place. Driving their car is the the heavy-set-is-an-understatement Tyrone (Ade), who for all intents and purposes is even more of a buffoon than the two idiots he's driving around. Here's the scene:

This is the first scene in the film to fully splice these disparate storylines together and have them affecting one another in an immediate fashion. Tommy - being a bit dim - chucks Turkish's carton of milk out the window and directly onto the windscreen of Tony's oncoming car. He is distracted by his conversation with Avi about knives, and with Rosebud in the back seat investigating the sword. The crash causes the sword to impale and kill Rosebud, and whilst Avi and Tony shake off the crash, Boris escapes the boot and stumbles into the road, only to be hit by Tyrone, who himself is distracted after Sol tested his new replica gun's blanks in the moving vehicle, blowing out all the windows. These actions all greatly impact the film, leading onto the next scene in which Tony, Avi, Tyrone, Sol, Vinny and Boris have an altercation in a nearby pub, that was also a contender for this FSF. In fact, this whole film could be broken down almost entirely into a collection of Favourite Scenes, but that's hardly the point, is it?

I love the way Ritchie doesn't play the scene in chronological order - the only instance this happens in the film other than a flashback late in the game. It adds a sense of confusion as we put the pieces into place, and the ramping up of the music in the background feels like the Russian equivalent of Duelling Banjos, building up to the crescendo of the multiple collisions. Also, the juxtaposition of the banality of Tommy and Turkish's dairy-based conversation compared to Sol's blank-firing stupidity and Tony's blade-based insults is hilarious. The scene of course gets capped off with one of my favourite moments from the film, Boris strutting around blindly, jerking around like a confused chicken until he gets taken out with the car. Wonderful.

What's your favorite scene from Snatch?

Who is your favorite character?

D'ya like dags?


  1. I need to watch this again, I haven't seen it in a really long time. The best part is definitely Boris doing the chicken walk as you put it. Great scene.

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