Ken Loach’s (I, DANIEL, KES, MY NAME IS JOE) latest film centres once again on the common man facing injustice in the working system. The film begins laying out the structure of employment at a parcel delivery company. As such, it becomes apparent offering freedom to the worker is an excuse for the company not taking responsibility for work accidents. Set in Newcastle, Ricky (Kris Hitchen) is a former construction worker who lost his job and home in the 2008 financial crash.
Eager to make a go at being his own boss, he takes a quasi-freelance delivery gig, though it means punishing hours, working under a ruthless manager, and making a substantial investment up front. Ricky convinces his wife, Abbie (Debbie Honeywood), a home-care nurse, to sell her car in order to buy the van he needs for the job. Complications mount as Ricky starts to discover the harsh realities of supposedly autonomous labour, his son Seb (Rhys Stone) courts trouble in his new-found, semi-politicized vocation as a graffiti artist. One knows, from previous Loach’s films that things are not going to go smoothly for Ricky and family. Loach goes deep into emotions and makes his audience feel the agony faced by both Ricky and Abbie.
The results are astounding. The audience at the screening wept and cheered. This is a remarkable and fully charged emotional ride. Make sure you are not sorry to have missed this one. Loach’s best since KES.