Watch Orphans

  • 2000
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.0  (1,785)

Orphans is a 1998 British drama film directed by Peter Mullan. Set in Glasgow, it explores the lives of four siblings who are left alone after their parents die in a car accident. The film depicts their struggle to survive in a harsh environment and the choices they make to overcome poverty, violence, and addiction. The eldest brother, Michael played by Douglas Henshall, takes responsibility for his younger siblings. He works as a petty criminal and struggles to provide for his family. Michael is a flawed character, haunted by guilt and anger towards his parents, who abused him during his childhood. He is also deeply in love with his sister, Sheila, played by Rosemarie Stevenson, but their relationship is taboo and frowned upon by society.

John played by Gary Lewis, is the middle brother, who has a severe stutter and struggles to communicate with others. He finds solace in his music and dreams of becoming a famous guitarist. John is a sensitive and gentle character, who becomes involved with a kind-hearted nurse, played by Britta Smith. However, their relationship is threatened by John's drug addiction.

The youngest siblings, Thomas and Sheila, are played by Stephen McCole and Rosemarie Stevenson, respectively. Thomas is a troubled teenager, who becomes involved with a local gang and engages in violent behavior. Sheila is a naive and innocent young woman, who tries to find her place in the world. She is torn between her loyalty to her family and her desire for a better life.

The film's narrative is non-linear, and it switches between different time periods, revealing the characters' backstories and their motives. It explores issues of family, identity, and social class, and it portrays the harsh realities of life in Glasgow's poverty-stricken neighborhoods. The film's tone is bleak and gritty, and it features several scenes of violence and drug abuse.

The performances in Orphans are outstanding, particularly Douglas Henshall, who delivers a powerful and complex portrayal of Michael. His character is both a victim and a perpetrator, struggling to find redemption for his past mistakes. Gary Lewis is also impressive as John, conveying his character's vulnerability and talent for music.

The film's direction by Peter Mullan is skillful and effective, using a handheld camera to create a visceral and immersive experience for the audience. The film's soundtrack, which features songs by Oasis and The Verve, adds to its gritty and authentic atmosphere.

Overall, Orphans is a bleak but powerful drama that explores the lives of four siblings living on the brink of poverty and desperation. Despite their flaws and mistakes, the characters are sympathetic and relatable, and the film's narrative is both poignant and thought-provoking. It is a must-see for fans of British cinema and those interested in gritty realism.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,785)