Tag Archives: Kidulthood

Best of New British? Try My Brother the Devil…

13 Nov

The Plot:

Two very different teenage brothers must face their prejudices head on if they are to survive the perils of being young, British Arabs on the streets of gangland London.

The Good:

For a debut feature film, My Brother The Devil is gripping, engaging, thought provoking and beautifully shot. All the characters and the surrounding situations are believable and as an audience member you can get completely engrossed in what you are watching, which is always a sign of a good film.

Sally El-Hosani picked up the much deserved Best Newcomer Award at the London Film Festival and most certainly is a star director for the future with this film and vision prooving testament to that talent.

My Brother the Devil, takes the audience on a very real journey of discovery for two brothers, Mo and Rashid – played expertly by newcomer Fady Elsayed and James Floyd. The beauty of this film is its self contained aspects. Not venturing much further than its urban council estate setting, the cinematography sheds a hallowed light on what is often depicted in film as a dark, dank and gruesome part of London.

The storyline also takes the film away from its opening generic ‘urban film’ feel and makes a strong social commentary sure to provoke equally strong reactions from audiences. The film is clever without trying to be too clever and Hosani’s passion for the project is obvious. It’s particular interesting to see a young female director tackling such a male focused route.

The Bad:

Although the film provides an interesting twist on the London gang culture genre, the topical and popular subject matter unavoidably brings a certain predictability regardless of budget or plot specifics.

These kinds of films follow a familiar pattern, a violent incident provokes some form of gang rivalry. Audiences will find that this film’s later stages in particular fall prey to being formulaic in a way that distracts from the film’s more original elements. Over hyped-enthusiasm from boastful marketing and word of mouth praise may worsen this feeling of disappointment. It’s ultimately not quite as distinguished from similar films like Victim or Kidulthood as it could have been.

Despite it’s faults My Brother The Devil is still lead strongly by its performances, and may prove to be the stepping stone for much bigger things for Floyd and Elsayed. It is also better than many feature debuts on a shoe string budget, so deserves the majority of praise already garnered.

The Ugly Truth: 

Beautifully shot, an unexpected twist on the tale you were expecting, but sadly not far enough away that it stands on its own two feet.  Most impressive however, is that My Brother The Devil is yet another shining example of UK talent both in front and behind the camera with praise well deserved.

WRITTEN FOR RED CARPET NEWS TV

If you want to hear what the director herself has to say about the film, check out when I caught up with Sally El-Hosani at the preview to the London Film Festival earlier this year…

For the new generation of British talent, its PAYBACK SEASON!

9 Mar

So in the same week that The Guardian brought out an interesting article about the number of upper class, well educated men and women becoming successful actors – http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/mar/07/being-posh-helps-actors – I attended the film premiere for Payback Season, featuring “the underdog” Adam Deacon. 

The stars of this film are not the graduates of Eton and Cambridge, but lesser known schools with, in some cases, the Anna Scher theatre training as the most notable training credit on their cv as opposed to RADA or LAMDA. They are the ones really living the dream, feeling privileged to be walking the red carpet for yet another successful British film, if not by the critics, then by the masses of 13-2o year old girls who scream as they arrive on the red carpet, and the boys who admire these actors as they’re at home nurturing their X-Box’s.

If I had my preference for which red carpet events to attend and soak up, it would be these types of films, the energy in the room is amazing. No star of the film takes for granted the privileged positions that they are in promoting these films, they talk to people like me on the other side of the tape for as long as I’d like (instead of “one question only”) and you get the sense of pride in their achievements, passion for their work and support for their co-stars. More often than not, I’ve heard stories of junkets featuring stroppy actors who see this element of the promotional tour as a chore, and hate the publicity of the red carpet, and when asked simple questions about why they would take on a particular role and the challenges they faced embodying it, give some overtly artistic and pretentious answer.

Here you see their eyes light up and when questioned, hear the words, hard work, determination and dedication. And when you see this level of genuine love for what they do and how far they have come, you can’t but help become the next number one fan of this film even before seeing it.

All this is what makes me as an audience member realise that we really are in the presence of a new type of British film making and talent – and that its here to stay. Since Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters paved the way for the urban british film revolution, its been going from strength to strength and without egos to destroy it – if anything I feel that you’re being guided through this new wave by one large family of film makers and actors who know each other like they’d grown up together, support each others choices as family does and talk proudly not of themselves, but of their “brother and sisters” achievements next to them.

We’re seeing the stars who began their paths being plucked from obscurity in Kidulthood and Adulthood become the next writers, directors and BAFTA award winning actors. Next according to Adam Deacon is the international market, an exciting time to showcase what makes London unique in its approach to film and with that we wish him all the very best of luck.

Payback Season hits cinemas today so make sure you support your next generation of British film talent and go check it out…

Thanks for reading