20 June 2008 | Cinema_Fan
N.W.A. U.K. Style:
Not Straight Outta Compton, but straight out of jail and back on the mean streets of London. A story of retribution, responsibility and reflections that has Sam Peel (Noel Clarke) fighting for more than just his freedom. After a six and a half year stretch for murder, his troubles are just about to begin. This has his past conflicts catching-up with his plans to stay alive for the future. Strong language assists the strong sense for survival and bitter revenge in this gritty 24-hour time-line drama; knives, guns, drugs, sex and baseball bats rule this urban metropolis.
Written, directed, his first attempt too, and starring Noel Clarke, and the follow-up to, in writing only, his 2006 Kidulthood, and backed by UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund and The UK National Lottery. Wonderfully scripted and uncompromising in all areas, these urban gorillas and street urchins are the epitome of English youth in a modern setting of ghettos and tower blocks that show a concrete jungle of an inarticulate, destitute, indifferent underclass.
Edited too in an exciting fashion with split screens and driven alone with daring character development not seen since the 1995 French movie "La Haine". Adulthood being both a film of extreme violence and of reconciliation with ones past to make-amends with ones future, in a world of aggression, for some, there is hope, be it with education, forgiveness or just plain growing-up. Finding ones faults and learning, and having to, deal with them here is an education and a right-of-passage that not only brings a sense of neorealism to the proceedings but is frighteningly more close-to-the-bone than some would possibly care to admit. Adulthood could be seen as social comment perhaps or more than coincidence and excellent timing. Whatever the case may be, daunting and realistic it is.
This, along with Sean Meadows work "This Is England", Garth Jennings "Son of Rambow", Paul Andrew Williams "The Cottage" and Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges" for example, is a fine example of just how British film is slowly, and very assuredly, coming back to conquer once more. With imagination and self-confidence, we can look forward to these conquering heroes expanding further afield, and too, with the added bonus of Mr. Noel Clarke to also carry the flag. Not bad for a beginner.