Film Review: 100 Streets

Jim O’Hanlon’s 100 Streets is a mostly engaging drama. Some of the film’s narrative strands work better than others.

Max is trying to win back estranged wife Emily. George is trying to make everything perfect for his wife. Kingsley is growing tired of the antics of his teenage compatriots. All these stories take place in the London neighbourhood of Battersea…

Directed by Jim O’Hanlon with a screenplay by Leon Butler, 100 Streets is a multi-strand drama that takes place in one area of London. The film focuses on three main strands, with overlap with varying characters. Although the stories entwine to a certain extent, each strand has its individual story to tell.

There seems to be a clear distinction between each of the three strands in 100 Streets. The clearest divide can be seen in the class of strand protagonist. Max and Emily represent the wealthiest of the area, and Kingsley the most deprived. George and his wife fall some way in between, although how a cab driver and a cleaner afford such a property in that area is questionable. What also distinguishes each strand is the different stage of life each protagonist is at.

Max’s descent is plausible at first, but too quick to jump from a little messy to utterly chaotic. George’s story is earnest, if a little weak. Kingsley’s story becomes more formulaic as it continues. His dilemma at the climax of the film is quite a predictable conclusion to the strand.

Performances in the film are decent. Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton are believable as the estranged Max and Emily. Charlie Creed-Miles does a good job; it is shame he isn’t given a meatier role. Franz Drameh is well cast as Kingsley.

100 Streets boasts a good cast, it is just a shame that the action does not unfold in a more compelling manner. There seems as if there are good stories to tell in such a format, but none of the strands quite make the cut.

100 Streets is out on DVD on 23rd January 2017.

Film Review: Wild Bill

Wild Bill is a competent British drama, which boasts good performances and writing.

After a lengthy spell in prison, Bill returns home to find his two sons have been abandoned by their mother. Fifteen-year-old Dean wants nothing to do with their father, while younger brother Jimmy cannot remember him. When social worker Helen starts investigating the family’s living arrangements, Bill insists he will be looking after his sons, much to the displeasure of Dean…

Wild Bill stands out from many other British films of the same ilk because it appears more realistic. The film centres on a domestic drama; crime elements are secondary to this. Dexter Fletcher’s directorial debut is gritty without being overly violent or bleak. The film has a preoccupation with consequences. It is not a matter of violence for the sake of it.

Characters in the film appear realistic, for the most part. Wild Bill features a caricature-esque villain, but the main characters seem more authentic. The screenplay works well; the relationship between father and sons appears to develop naturally. The ending of the film is suitably bittersweet. It is not fairy tale, but neither is it grim.

Wild Bill uses music effectively, and features some good camera work. Charlie Creed-Miles is well cast as Bill. Will Poulter delivers an authentic performance as Dean, while Liz White brings warmth to the character of Roxy.

Wild Bill is a decent film, sufficiently entertaining and difficult to really fault.

Wild Bill is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2011.