Sunday night dinner with the family of friends at Vegie Hut where I was introduced to the concept of legitimate mock meat… have you heard of such a thing that is actually so delicious? When I think of mock meat I think of Spam and this was quite the opposite of Spam! Desert Lounge around the corner for Sago and Banana Fritters (tasty!) afterwards followed by a short impromptu stint at Time Out… Remember that old school arcade place from the happy days of your childhood? In 20 mins we won 150 tickets and scored ourselves 2 bouncy balls, 1 lollipop and a capgun with caps that didn’t work and made a sound resembling wet cardboard being dropped on the ground. (can anyone say, rip off?)
Then, movie time! What movie did we choose? “Shank” a London based film released last year that is said to be raw, violent, thrilling and wait for it… ‘flashy’. And you know what? It was almost all of those things! Almost..
It’s 2015; the Gangs have taken over in London and food aka ‘Munchies’ are now the highest priced commodity and there are gangs that would literally kill for a taste of anything that resembles something edible - It’s a relatively interesting base line for a plot, isn’t it? Considering that 2015 isn’t too far away… But what makes me appreciate “Shank”, a first time feature film directed by Mo Ali starring newcomer Kedar Williams-Stirling, UK rapper Bashy and the fascinating Kaya Scodelario from ‘Skins’ is the way in which the film was shot as well as the soundtrack and the diverse characters deserve an honourable mention too!
Name the film or pop cultural style used to shoot the film and you will find it, somewhere within the film - from slightly overused hand held movements to Manga, Game Boy dream representations, Parkour, fast forward, slow motion, musical theatre, music video and the like - this is not your typically shot film. And the soundtrack isn’t your typical soundtrack either. What I appreciate most is the fact that the tracks were made specifically for the film, reflecting the decaying state of London conveyed on screen wholeheartedly and featuring sounds that blend into the layers of the film. What do I mean? Well, in one scene, for instance, the boys from the Paper Chaserz break into a bit of rapping and beat boxing on the side of the street as they seek out some Munchies, the soundtrack then picks up the beat boxing base and a character’s vocals turning what was just an impromptu song whilst walking down the street into a high def backing track. Then as the van drives by with their Munchies inside the shot flicks to the drivers who have the song playing on their radio. It’s the small but notable things that makes the creative thought process of the soundtrack inherent in the film that little bit more interesting!
The plot continues, Rager, a father like brother and leader of The Paper Chaserz played by Bashy is mercilessly killed by Tugz, leader of a rival gang and played by Jerome Holder who incidentally, has the most incredibly creepy eyes in the film and Junior, played by the very talented Kedar Williams-Stirling is set on revenge but is torn because his gang, The Paper Chaserz practice non violent means and all he wants to do is kill Tugz in a bloody and violent showdown. So with the help of Tasha, a fiery and fight-happy girl who too, was hurt by Tugz and his gang played by Kaya Scodelario, Ree Ree, her responsible older sister and the near-mute Lexy; Junior takes Tugz on in a showdown where he is forced to assess his predicament head on - kill Tugz and have his dirty blood on his conscience, ignoring everything his brother had ever taught him, or spare the man that mercilessly killed his brother and continue the legacy his brother left for the gang by adhering to non violent means.
Not a bad film, not a bad film indeed.
Post Script: There was one character however, that I could not stand due to the clichéd amount of tackiness in his characterization. His name is Whisper. But I’ll let you see him for yourselves and have a good chuckle. X