World of Chig   

Clubbed - film review

The film we went to see on Tuesday was Clubbed. It’s the first feature film written by Geoff Thompson, originally from Coventry. He used to be a factory worker and a bouncer, as did the main character in the film (who is also shown keeping a diary), so there is clearly an autobiographical element to the film. Clubbed was filmed around various parts of Birmingham and Halesowen, including Sparkbrook where I live and Daisy Road and Leslie Road near Edgbaston reservoir, which are easily identifiable because you can see the street signs! Despite this, the characters never say where they are, or what year it is, so it’s fun to guess where the generic Midlands town is, and use the music and fashions to guess the year, but the focus is on the story.

Lead character Danny (brilliantly played by Mel Raido) takes us back twelve years to a time when his marriage had fallen apart and he was looking for some focus in his life, to distract himself from his boring job and his frustration at being a distant father to his two girls, who live with his ex-wife (played brilliantly by Maxine Peake who was Twinkle in dinnerladies and Veronica in Shameless).

After he is randomly beaten up (in an attack shown in all its bone-crunching horror), Danny takes up boxing (hence the presence of James DeGale and other boxers at Tuesday’s premiere). He later becomes a bouncer and inevitably gets caught up in the drug dealing and its associated violence. There are a couple of scenes that are very difficult to watch because they are so violent, but it has to be said that they are very well done. It’s not comedy violence; it’s genuinely horrible. There are also moments of humour and genuine sadness too. (Colin Salmon, who plays a major part in the film, talks about the violence in this Metro interview. The Metro has also unfortunately merged the writer Geoff Thompson and the unrelated director Neil Thompson into one person. It was bound to happen with the coincidence of surnames.)

To say any more about the storyline would ruin the film, so I’ll just say I highly recommend seeing this latest Britflick after it opens tomorrow and making up your own mind. For Birmingham people, the location spotting is great fun, but the story is good, the photography and art direction are fantastic and the overall film is gritty and highly watchable. And the music is fantastic.

As an aside, look out for one small scene featuring sexy Ciaran Griffiths, better known to fans of The Bill as Gary Best and viewers of Shameless (again!) as gay chav Mickey Maguire. In Clubbed, he appears in one scene with his girlfriend, who I didn’t recognise until the credits rolled. It’s only Birmingham’s own Hayley Evetts, one of the final ten from the first series of Pop Idol and former TV presenter. The funny thing is, I vaguely know her Mum! Hayley is also good friends with Jessica Garlick, our 2002 Eurovision singer. You see, there’s always a Eurovision connection…

Labels: ,

· link