Eventually I got around to watching this. Amongst my Facebook community this is a film that has been plugged more times than an S&M Divas…
It isn’t what I was expecting and I can see why it divides opinion. It is shot as a documentary and it feels like one, most of the time. The Handycam style isn’t pervasive throughout, so those who feel sick watching those kind of films may not have the same trouble here. The documentary angle lends itself to ‘naturalistic’ acting, a form of acting that is very popular in the North West. On a number of occasions those performances in the film are great, however the style of the film keeps those occasions short and fleeting.
It is a gangster britflick, and we have all seen countless numbers of those, but it is different to most in that it’s Northern, it’s shot differently, it’s approach is novel and I’m not entirely sure it is actually a ‘gangster movie’. It seems to be as much an exploration into documentary film making and the ethics that surround that, as about the criminal fraternity. At different points during the film I couldn’t figure out who I disliked the most – the crims or the filmmakers.
It isn’t a film that is to every bodies taste, and that in my opinion is a good thing. You will either like it or loath it but you can’t help but applaud the inventiveness. The film is already garnering a ‘cult’ status, I think it’s a bit early for that, but there are a number of scenes that will get played over and over by teenagers and film buffs and shared on their phones to giggles, retching and screams.
A lot of the cast are now embedded as front players in the Manchester fringe scene. I hope the film serves them well and gives other filmmakers a nudge in the right direction, whether through plaudits or put downs they get spurred on – and just do it!
Diary Of A Bad Lad website to find out more.