Sunday, 19 March 2017

100 Streets (2016)


Though not as bad as some of the reviews suggest, 100 Streets is a multi stranded ensemble piece about interconnected lives in modern, metropolitan London that ultimately fails to deliver on its promises.


Idris Elba stars as a former England international Rugby Union captain whose life post-retirement hasn't quite panned out the way he'd imagined. Unfit, and spiralling in a malaise of drugs, drink, depression and one night stands, he's separated from his wife, a former actress played by Gemma Arterton, and their two young children. Arterton's being eyed up by an old friend and colleague, played by Tom Cullen, as she attempts to step back into acting with a little help from her old mentor, played by Ken Stott. Stott meanwhile has taken a young offender (Franz Drameh) under his wing, seeing the potential in this young man who desperately wants to escape the world of drug dealing on corners for the local Mr Big. Meanwhile, a middle-aged couple (Charlie Creed-Miles and Kierston Wareing) are considering adoption when a personal tragedy strikes that could change their lives forever.


100 Streets feels like the kind of multi-stranded London set drama that would have graced our TV screens back in the late '90s - and I don't mean that as a criticism, I actually can't help but think a mini-series would have been the better format, allowing the many plot strands the chance to breathe and grow, and develop more plausibly than a mere 90 minute feature can offer. I also can't help but think someone was busy with the scissors in the cutting room, a concern that has grown when I saw a cast list on TMDB that bears no relation to the finished product (actors like Jamie Foreman, Emma Rigby, Samantha Barks and Steven Mackintosh were all listed, but non actually appear here) It could be a mistake, but I'm not sure. 


Of the actors who do appear, Drameh, Stott, and Arterton equip themselves really well. Elba isn't an actor I have ever been truly convinced by, but I have to say this is one of his better performance despite a couple of unconvincing moments and Cullen is wasted in a perfunctory wafer-thin role. But the real stars here were Creed-Miles and Wareing; they give the best performance and I could have watched a whole film based solely on their relationship and story. I felt  really short changed that they, essentially the beating heart of the film, were often overlooked for the more dramatic developments that occurred elsewhere. 


I was also extremely disappointed to see the venomous Kay Burley of Sky News and the eternal idiotic misogynist John Inverdale of BBC sport appear as themselves. They shouldn't even be employed in their day jobs, let alone diversify into film.

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