That horrid corruptibility of the soul under the thick and ignorant ruling of powers that be and don’t understand the desires and hunger of the working-class soul is framed particularly dementedly in Alan Clarke’s Road. Men and women driven feral with boredom. Families at the throat of one another because there isn’t enough food in the fridge. All the houses look the same, a particularly smart choice Clarke makes to match the lack of change for a social class that was desperate for it. But Clarke misunderstands those that just want to dance, drink and screw as a popular track from the 1990s would soon explain. The viciousness that underscores Road is a surprise, not because there was no anger to be found within the working class, but of how it is used.
Working-class woes and modern periods of bleak history are put to film, more often than not, with the intention of capturing an abstract feeling. Something we as an audience can vaguely learn from, about a certain mood among a ramshackle bunch of characters. Tangible links between the unique individuals within Life is Sweet make a sturdy, enjoyable foundation, bringing to light some of the more pressing issues of the time. Some now outdated, others that are as relevant today as they were thirty years ago, when this Mike Leigh directed feature first released.