British independent drama is at its finest in this 2004 film from director Shane Meadows. In the perpetual drizzle of the sleepy England countryside are the less than desirable bullies, drug dealers and general scum of any city/town/neighborhood. In Dead Man’s Shoes we focus on seven guys like this who slowly meet their fates over the course of five days, when Richard (Paddy Considine), returns from a stint in the army. Richard’s brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell) is a feeble-minded young man who, we come to find out, endured a shameful humiliation, being force-fed drugs, beaten and finally, essentially coerced into killing himself at a remote, abandoned, countryside castle.
Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows both wrote the dark, revenger’s tragedy of a screenplay, and as Meadows tells it, part of the inspiration behind the story was from an experience he had growing up in England and attempting to join a gang of skinheads. Well, regardless of where it spawned from, Meadows here has put together a masterful ninety minutes of gritty cinema, and a nice departure from some of the other films in his oeuvre. Considine also shares some thoughts on how the film came to fruition in the interview snippet below.