FX's 'Pistol' Review: Danny Boyle's fast-paced biopic about Sex Pistols is raw, chaotic and engaging

Boyle haw returned to his routes with 'Pistol' and explores extraordinary journey of a band that took the world by story while introducing anarchy


                            FX's 'Pistol' Review: Danny Boyle's fast-paced biopic about Sex Pistols is raw, chaotic and engaging
A still from Danny Boyle's 'Pistol' (FX)
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Danny Boyle’s filmography has been really interesting and if you have been a fan of Boyle’s work, you’ll realize that he has chosen to work on projects so randomly. Started with black comedies like ‘Trainspotting’ and went on to direct a horror flick like ’28 Days Later’. Even after winning the Oscar for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, he didn’t stop making films that are so varied.

The British filmmaker made his mark with the 1996 movie ‘Trainspotting’, a black comedy that followed a group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed area of Scotland. And it’s so interesting that he has returned to his routes with the latest series ‘Pistol’. The FX series has a similar kind of tone and gives us a glimpse of one of the most controversial bands of all time, the Sex Pistols. Apart from exploring how the band became such influential, the series, most importantly, also makes us realize how the punk movement and culture started in the UK.

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Based on Steve Jones’ 2017 memoir ‘Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol’, the series follows the journey of Sex Pistols founding member and guitarist, how the band came together, and how they changed the business by going against almost anything and anyone. They even tried to bring down the UK government with their music. So, it doesn’t come as a shock that a series about ‘Sex Pistols’ pushes the boundaries with its source material. It has an abundance of sex, violence, and cursing. However, if you don’t know anything about one of the most influential bands in history, you might get to learn a lot about how the band tried to shake the establishment to its core.

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Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Anson Boon as John Lyndon, Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Christian Lees as Glen Matlock in 'Pistol' (FX)

 

The most striking thing about the show is that it’s shot in the 4:3 ratio and has a grainy filter as well. These things instantly take you back to the ‘70s and make you a part of the era that was ruled by such bands.

Boyle is known for treating viewers with every little detail about the characters and ‘Pistol’ is no different. Even though it’s a six-part limited series, it shows every important aspect of the band’s journey. Like, how they gained prominence, how their music turned out to be so influential and how heroin addiction took away one of the band member’s life.

As far as acting is concerned, Anson Boon as John Lydon and Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde are phenomenal in their respective roles. However, Sydney is undoubtedly the soul of this FX series and she is a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast - Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Christian Lees as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn as Wally Nightingale, Maisie Williams as Pamela Rooke, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen and Talulah Riley as Vivienne Westwood - is extraordinary as well.

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Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde in 'Pistol' (FX)

 

‘Pistol’ will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it manages to capture the essence of anarchy that was caused by the British band. Just like ‘Pam & Tommy’, the show is not comfortable to watch. However, if you were excited about a show about Sex Pistols, then you already knew that the outcome was always going to be something extreme.

For me, it was everything that I wanted it to be and although there are some moments that could have been omitted, the show never seemed boring. The show is another win for Boyle and lays a perfect foundation for the young stars on the show.

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'Pistol' will be available for streaming on FX on Hulu on May 31 at 12.01 am.