Let Him Have It (1991)

by Natalia Santos

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Let Him Have It (1991) – A young man’s pride

A Le Studio Canel Plus Collection; Let Him Have It (1991) presents a beautiful colourisation of the city of London. Through the eyes of Peter Medak, we witness the warm and rough realistic nature of growing up within a time of austerity. Within this film, one can see how the exploration of juxtaposition between the upper class and working class is prominent. This can be seen through the different settings in which the young men explore within the cityscapes of London. Additionally, one can see how the two men subconsciously crave the lifestyle of ‘something better and more productive’.  This, therefore, strongly highlights the importance of the male guardian within these two men’s lives. Through this unbalanced equilibrium within their lives, we as an audience, begin to either identify or reject their characters depending on our level of understanding; i.e. sympathy, similarity to the boys lives.

From the calming luring persona of Derek Bentley (played by Christopher Eccleston) who sways softly to the musical rhythms from his retro record player at the beginning of the movie. A young man who goes the record store with his sister to add to his wondrous record collection. One can observe a gentle naive being with a soft heart, who suffers from a mental disorder caused from the war. This character completely contrasts with the character of Christopher Craig (played by Paul Reynolds) who shares his life with a destructive brother. (Who is notoriously known to the police for his treacherous deviant manner.)  Nevertheless, one must take into consideration that throughout the film,  one can see how Craig subconsciously wishes for peace and tranquillity. This can be seen evident through the tears shed from when his brother gets captured to him clutching onto his gun in his bed with toy trains surrounding his bed. All inevitably, highlighting his inner childish nature that yearns for more.

As a result, through this short analysis of Let Him Have It, the concept of belonging and the father figure can be seen to be rather relevant and evident within this film. Ultimately, we behold how the concept of the missing father figure, most likely causes destruction to the organic equilibrium, and distorts the character into a force of destruction; sometimes their own downfall. [Nonetheless, it must be noted that it is not just men whom fall to the depths of destruction from the absence of their father figure, women also fall in a very different way, depending on personalities, and mother figures etc. ]   This concept of the missing father figure is also prominent within the films of Shank and Kidulthood which both present to us the destruction and rebellion that occurs to the equilibrium, when the father figure is not there to restore stability and gracefulness for the young youths of today.