London To Brighton - Preview
Preview by Jack Foley
THE words “gritty” and “urban” sometimes seem to go hand in hand with British thrillers. Mostly, there’s a depressing consistency. They’re foul-mouthed and rotten.
Just occasionally, however, there’s a gem waiting to be discovered – a Get Carter or Lock Stock. London To Brighton, which is out in December, falls firmly into that category.
It marks the directorial debut of Paul Andrew Williams, who also wrote the taut script, and has already done well on the festival circuit, at venues such as Toronto and Edinburgh (where it won the Skillset New Directors Award this year).
The film begins in London at 3.07am, as the doors burst open on a public toilet and the bruised and battered sight of Kelly and Joanne, a young woman and girl in obvious physical and emotional distress, confronts viewers.
Desperate to get out of town, the duo subsequently make their way to Brighton in order to hide out while they plan what to do next. Over the next 24 hours, and through a cleverly constructed series of flashbacks, the audience is invited to learn – sometimes through hand-covered eyes – who they are to each other and what they are running from.
To give too much more away would be depriving the film of its grip on viewers, suffice to say that its taut, tremendously atmospheric and one of the better example of the British gangster genre.
It was shot by Williams on a relatively miniscule budget but features a strong ensemble cast led by newcomers Lorraine Stanley (Kelly) and Georgia Groome (Joanne). Support is provided by Sam Spruell and Johnny Harris as the menacing gang leader and loutish pimp who are hot on their trail.
Being a gritty, urban affair, the violence is strong, the language coarse – but whereas some films feel like a pointless excuse for endless blood-letting and excessive profanity, this actually displays a strong emotional core that makes its effective conclusion all the more satisfying.
Intrigued? Well, you can judge for yourself when the film opens on December 1. Needless to say, it’s a certificate 18.