Film Review: Golden Years

Gangsta’s Not So Paradise

As we’ve covered often here on Flush, there have been a great wealth of documentaries, films, books and many other mediums dealing with the behaviour of successive governments siphoning actual wealth (amongst other things) away from it’s citizens over the years. And now we’re onto our senior citizens in John Miller’s dignified romp ‘Golden Years’ (2016) about a group of gentile geriatric gangstas.

As is their want, the establishment have spent generations constructing the fine art of pageantry and propaganda to make everyone believe that if you work hard (for you Country™) you will be rewarded in your retirement and final years with days of relaxed bliss with not a want. Of course that’s crap, as you’re more likely to be brutalised in a care home run by the private sector (where MPs sit on the board of directors) because the Conservative government (and Labour, Liberal Democrats) has sold off the NHS. The reality is that few people will be able to afford any care at all, and as such the tories have raised the retirement age, which will no doubt rise again.

It’s also the case that despite your loyalty to any particular company/corporation that you have so diligently given the best years of your life too are going to evaporate your pension fund out of your account and probably financially magic it into an offshore account just before the business goes into receivership. Possibly along the lines as what might have happened recently with BHS and 11,000 employees potentially losing their life’s pension as the knighted owner ‘legally’ continues his jollies with other peoples lives and lifespans.


Such disappearance of pensions is nothing new, and I’m sure everyone knows family or friends who have their entire lives contributions written off with one indifferent keyboard stroke. This is the crux of Miller’s gentle ‘middle England’ where a group of pensioners are not going to take such an injustice lying down. Though they may need a bit of help getting up off out of the chair to do it.

With an absolutely sterling cast of television and movie luminaries such as Bernard Hill, Virginia McKenna, Una Stubbs, Simon Callow, Phil Davis, Alun Armstrong, Sue Johnston and Ellen Thomas it really is a pleasure to see all these great folk in characters that are their actual ages and resolutely realistic, I’ve family friends that they lovingly remind me of. Off course there’s a decided gentleness to the sense of humour that’s in the movie, more of a light entertainment sitcom with a hint of blue to cater for the broader mind, but it’s a fair choice by the writers and director if they are imparting a very necessary message to present and future older folk. If you can reach a broader market and inform more folk (governments actions do affect everyone after all, well except themselves) it’s a just compromise to not have a harsher, crude or more brutal comedy that might be the zeitgeist.

Mixed in with the light comedy caper is a lot of solid heart and information about the corruption that is currently going on in the UK. As the band of merry seniors plan to regain their dignity and respect by actually stealing back from those that had ‘legally’ robbed them, basically it’s a Saga holiday for bank robbers. Though I’ll just point out that company doesn’t currently offer such excursions, nor any illegal activities.

The movie is not aiming to win any comedy awards, and it would be unjust to criticise it as it is doing such an honourable job of informing some of our most vulnerable members of society about the indignities being waged upon them by they self serving elite. It not for everyone, but it’s got dignity, which seems to be dying along with the last of our pensioners.


‘Golden Years’ is out in cinemas now.

Steve Clarke

Born in Celtic lands, nurtured in art college, trained by the BBC, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson and released onto the battlefront of all things interesting/inspiring/good vibes... people, movies, music, clubbing, revolution, gigs, festivals, books, art, theatre, painting and trying to find letters on keyboards in the name of flushthefashion. Making sure it's not quite on the western front... and beyond.