Stripped back and laid bare, the film adaptation of BAFTA award-winning writer Geoff Thompson’s stage play, The Pyramid Texts, is nothing less of a powerhouse of raw human emotion with an exceptional performance from its lone front man, James Cosmo.
The Pyramid Texts is laced beautifully together with bouts of poetic dialogue that tear deep into a single man’s soul from the pit of the stomach to his tightly wrapped grip, all whilst set within one location of a vast and empty boxing gym with the soft touches of black and white to capture its melancholy atmosphere.
Sat in front of a camera positioned in the centre of a boxing ring, veteran boxer Ray (James Cosmo) methodically lays out trinkets from his past in front of him, all have a special relevance to the story he is about to convey. An ode to his past, disclosing stories he had never told before. Ray takes us on the rollercoaster of his life, forcing himself to open up and show emotions he usually keeps under lock and key and admitting “Fear is what keeps people ordinary”.
There is a purpose to Ray reencountering his past, one that slowly unravels over the ninety minutes of monologue that focuses solely on this hulk of a man with only a smattering of scenes fading in and out of a young boxer going about his training. Ray transforms as he goes through emotions of anger, joy and jubilance before our very eyes to become a vulnerable and broken man, a man suffering a huge loss.
A standing ovation should be given for directors Ludwig and Paul Shammasian for their creative vision in delivering such an incredibly moving and powerful film that, albeit slowly, wrangles its way under the skin hitting its intended audience with that knockout blow to the gut. The brothers couldn’t have found a more perfect actor in James Cosmo to deliver such a perfectly intimate, nuanced story; his raw emotion is tantalising to watch as he removes the facade of his less than intimate upbringing.
With a spine-tingling ending to break through the barriers of the toughest of men, the Shammasian brothers have captured the elements of a human story with a chilling beauty.
The Pyramid Texts is released on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play on April 28th.