For 15-year-old Trife, life is a day-to-day struggle. Trapped between the worlds of his school friends, the girl he loves and the draw of his powerful and dangerous uncle, Trife must choose between the path he knows is right and a life of guns, drugs and violence that he has come to know only too well. When a classmate’s suicide leaves Trife and his crew, Moony and Jay, with the day off school, the tragedy seems overshadowed by the opportunity to shop, get high, get laid and party; but in a world where sex is currency, drugs are easy and violence is a way of life, trouble can never be too far around the corner. On these streets kids grow up fast and 48 hours can be a lifetime.
2005 – Certificate: 15 – British Film
Rating Details: Strong violence, language, sex references and drug use
8.0 out of 10
I haven’t really enjoyed this week. It’s hard to identify one particular thing that’s made it a bit rubbish, it just was. It’s been the sort of week where you’d spot a pound coin on the pavement, then when you’ve bend over to pick it up a car’s driven through a nearby puddle and soaked you. To celebrate the better parts of the week and the fact that I’d got to the end of it, I decided to treat myself to an Indian takeaway. However, to also enable the latter to best reflect how things have been recently, I decided to get a vegetable phall. I really like curry, but this version is basically a few bits of vegetable with a goo made out of chillies all over it. It’s virtually impossible to eat and tastes of nothing, except chillies and the inside of the Sun. It’s the sort of thing guys eat when they want to try and impress other guys. (I know, how on earth did humans manage to get to the top of the food chain?) As I’ve got no friends and I ate it on my own, I’m not quite sure who I was trying to impress. I think it was simply a cry for help, a punishment for not being good enough at work all week. I imagine if I’d not eaten it I’d now feel obliged to roll around naked in a patch of stinging nettles instead. And I didn’t win the National Lottery either. Still, things could be worse; I could live in the ‘wrong’ part of W11, where this film is set.
I went to school in central London. In my day we didn’t have mobile phones or gangsta rap; drugs were something you took for a toothache (and in any case were always called tablets) and oral sex meant talking about it, not that we knew what ‘it’ really was. So films like this are really helpful in enabling me to keep myself ‘street’, ‘happening’ and ‘down with the kids’; although as anyone who’s a teenager now would have been about 7-years-old when it was made, I suspect things have moved on a bit since then. Eschewing the fascination that movie-makers have with the East End, south London, Camden and Hackney, this movie mostly takes place in that forgotten realm west of the West End, where only the Hammersmith & City Line dares to go. A land of council estates and old terrace housing hidden away behind the ‘glamour’ of Notting Hill, it’s about as uncool and unfashionable as you can get. If it wasn’t for Portobello Market and the nearby Carnival, it would probably hold the world record for being the most unhip and dowdy place in any capital city anywhere. In fact if you Google it, nothing comes up. Despite my trashing of the location, this is actually an excellent film; (awful title though). I’m also lucky to be gangsta enough to be able to understand what they’re all saying most of the time, which is just as well because my copy didn’t come with any subtitles. I haven’t heard so much slang since I watched “Attack the Block”.
With a soundtrack that’s almost pure London hip-hop, grime and rap, it’s as good (or as bad) as you think that is. Rodney Smith, Maxwell Ansah, Dylan Mills and Michael Skinner all provide parts of the soundtrack. (And if you don’t know who they are then that makes you a total square.)
Recommended for ganstas, bros, crews and feds, init?
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A cute grey cat makes a brief but scene-stealing appearance, jumping off a sofa and then wondering about a bit.
Top badass moment? There are plenty of small ‘growing-up’ badass moments scattered throughout this film, but I’m going to choose Alisa giving some home truths to the bullies on the tube. They were really horrible! Still, at least I know they’re probably all junkies, prostitutes or unmarried mothers by now. I blame the parents. (When I write things like that they so make me sound so like a Tory. I’m really not, honest!)
August 18, 2013 | Categories: The Thoughts of Cactus | Tags: 2005, Adam Deacon, Aml Ameen, Attack the Block, Baseball Bat, British Film, Bullying, Cat, Curry, Drama, Drugs, Drunk, England, Femi Oyeniran, Gangsta, Gun, Hammersmith & City Line, Inner City, Jaime Winstone, Kidulthood. Trailer, Ladbrooke Grove, London, Madeleine Fairley, Menhaj Huda, Noel Clarke, Oral Sex, Party, Phall, Red Madrell, Suicide, Teenagers, UK, Underage Sex, W11 | Leave a comment