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|A Hundred Streets|
|aka 100 Streets|
dir Jim O'Hanlon
scr Leon Butler
prd Idris Elba, Leon Butler, Pippa Cross, Ros Hubbard
with Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Charlie Creed-Miles, Franz Drameh, Ken Stott, Kierston Wareing, Tom Cullen, Jo Martin, Kola Bokinni, Ashley Thomas, Mark Frost, Paul Hickey
release US Jun.16 laff, UK 11.Nov.16
Ladies' man: Elba and admirers
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
While this multi-strand drama is sharply shot and acted, an under-developed script leaves it feeling artificial and rather corny. Every plot point lands with a thud, sending the characters scurrying off in one way or another, which means that the actors are never given the chance to drive the story through the people they're playing. But at least the themes are strong.
Max (Elba) is a womanising ex-rugby star whose wife Emily (Arterton) has given up on saving their marriage. She's devoted to her kids, and developing a new relationship with a photographer (Cullen). But Max hasn't given up. Meanwhile, cabbie George (Creed-Miles) and his wife Kathy (Wareing) are struggling to adopt a child when George is involved in a crash that leaves him badly shaken. And teen thug Kingsley (Drameh) is so used to petty crime that he hasn't a clue how to break the cycle. Then he meets actor-mentor Terence (Stott).
These three plots swirl around, occasionally brushing past each other but rarely interacting. They're all stories of people who know that they have to get their lives on track, and each person faces various obstacles and encouragement along the way. The various settings cleverly touch on a range of issues throughout the strata of British society, as stories are set in distinct classes and subcultures. All of the actors are strong, although since each one is driven only by circumstances, there isn't much scope for depth.
Elba's Max is charismatic but not very likeable as he indulges in fame, drugs and women then whines about losing his family. Creed-Miles also passively glides along as George, waiting for something to nudge him into action. Drameh's Kingsley is a bit more proactive, but relies heavily on luck at each pivotal moment. Stott is wonderful in a small role, while Arterton and Wareing are also strong as sharp, complex women. But Cullen barely gets the chance to create a character.
Director O'Hanlon shoots the film beautifully, capturing the settings and characters with a telling eye. So it's a shame that the script only hints at the bigger world around them. The rattles and clanks of the narrative are hugely distracting (a gun! a pregnancy test! another gun!), so where each story goes feels tidy and not terribly believable. Still, there's plenty of interest within the people and their situations, even if it never quite touches a nerve.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2016 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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