Monday, July 16, 2012

Kidulthood Review


So apparently Mickey from Doctor Who makes movies...about violent drug using, swearing, sex crazed British teenagers. Wouldn't of called it. As I write this Noel Clarke has written three movies that I've seen;  Kidulthood, Adulthood, and, and directing the latter two. They all deal with similar themes such as the violence and hardship of growing up poor..and British.

Kidulthood has several characters the main three being Trevor known as Trife (Aml Ameen), and his friends Jay (Adam Deacon) and Moony (Femi Oyeniran). They're the kind of teenagers who cause trouble, swearing at people and loudly chatting up every girl they see in a loud obnoxious manner, except for Trife, while he participates in the hooliganary he also seems to be the only one who can be smart about stuff. Two more characters are Trife's ex-girlfriend Alisa (Red Madrell) who is pregnant with his baby and her friend Becky (Jaime Winstone). Bully Sam Peel (Noel Clarke) also pops in every now and then to torment characters, helping to drive a girl, Katie, to suicide at the beginning, which sets the events of the rest of the movie in motion.

So, Katie commits suicide and school is cancelled for the day, a party planned for that night. The three main characters Trife, Jay and Moony decide to dick around for the day. Going and stealing a few beers and deciding to steal their Gameboy back from Sam, who had stolen it from them earlier in the movie.  While there they steal Sam's weed, Jay has sex with his girlfriend, and when Sam comes home they hit him over the head, kick him in the face and run away and accidentally knock his mom down. They do other hooligan things to kill time and Trife goes to see his Uncle Curtis, who is a criminal. His Uncle tells him to cut a man's face, he does and then runs away.

Alisa and Becky actually do less with their day than the other three. The go to a mans house perform sex acts to get drugs, which they do. Then they go to another house were Becky has sex with a man for money so they can buy dresses for the party. They run into Jay and Moony, who had a fight with Trife, and Jay tells Alisa that Trife doesn't want her or the baby. Becky goes with the boys to the party why Alisa heads home, on the way though she runs into a classmate who manages to talk her into going to the party.

Trife arrives at the party and finds Alisa. He confesses his love for her and tells her he wants her and the baby, in return she tells him she never slept with Sam, which was a rumor started by Sam that Trife believed. Sam then arrives at the party and attacks Trife with a baseball bat. Alisa gets Jay and Moony and in the fight Sam threatens Alisa, which angers Trife and he attacks Sam beating him to the ground. He stops beating Sam when Alisa tells him to and he walks away. As he is walking away Sam hits him in the stomach with the bat, he falls to the ground critically injured. At that moment Katie's brother Lenny (Rafe Spall) arrives looking to kill Sam for his part in his sister's suicide. He is about to shoot Sam when Trife tells him not to because "he is not worth it" and Lenny walks away. Sam insults Lenny who turns around and shoots him, but the gun explodes in Lenny's hand, he then drives away and Trife dies before police or an ambulance can get there.

The movie is written extremely well, with interesting characters, especially the growth of Trife, and fast paced dialogue. The direction is good, but a little too good, the camera's movements seem to crisp and clean for the grittiness of the subject matter. The acting is pretty good across the board with special attention paid to Aml Ameen and Adam Deacon. Trife and Jay are the most interesting characters in the movie. Trife acts tough, but is also a good guy, defending the bullied girl in the beginning and eventually residing to his fate as father before his murder at the hands of Sam. He seems to be much smarter than most of the other people in the movie and could of had a promising future. Jay is almost the exact opposite of Trife. He's violent and quick to anger with alot of the situations in the movie leading to his temper snapping. It's not over the top either, it seems like a person with a genuine anger management problem. He acts really tough, but its easy to tell its an act.

Over all this is a pretty decent movie. The writing is very good with a few inspired performances, but the direction is too clean. The movie has a very dark and gritty tone and the direction should reflect that, but it doesn't its crisp and clean and seems distant. Another problem is that the characters are all supposed to be about 15 or 16 with the oldest being Sam at around 18 or 19, but the actors look nowhere near their ages. Also, if you don't understand really heavy British accents I would try and find subtitles. When all of the elements of the movie combine it turns into an alright movie, worth a watch if only because it leads to its infinitely better sequel, Adulthood.

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