movie film review | chris tookey


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  NEDS Review
Tookey's Rating
3 /10
Average Rating
7.40 /10
Gregg Forrest , Gary Milligan, Joe Szula
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Directed by: Peter Mullan
Written by: Peter Mullan

Released: 2010
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK/ France/ Italy
Colour: C
Length: 134

Not Exactly Delightful or Salubrious.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The actor-director Peter Mullan is an extremely likeable chap, and his past directorial achievements include The Magdalena Sisters, which won Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival. So I would confidently predict that his coming-of-age film, NEDS (an acronym for Non-Educated Delinquents), will be greeted with much more respect that it deserves.

It is yet another exercise in grim British miserabilism, aimed at that tiny group of filmgoers who regard Ken Loach as unnecessarily upbeat. The saving grace is that Mullan evidently has sympathy for his hero, a bright boy (well played at different ages by Greg Forrest and Connor Carron, pictured second rght) led astray by an abusive upbringing, mad teachers and malign peer-group pressure into a life of moronic violence and senseless hatred of authority.

Unfortunately, weve seen virtually all of this before, in movies purporting to chart the rise of brutal career criminals and football hooligans. Mullan brings little new to the party except impenetrable Scottish accents, which will mean that for many people long stretches of it will be incomprehensible.

Its one unusual aspect is also its most glaring error of taste. Abrupt lurches from violence to sentiment, and from realism to religious stylisation at one point Mullan implicitly compares his heros sufferings to those of Jesus mean that stylistically its a mess. Paced extremely slowly with a repetitive script and clocking in at well over two hours, it seems to last forever. I can see why Mullan may have needed to make such a film, just like Scorsese needed to direct Mean Streets, to pay backhanded tribute to his own tough background. But its too cliched and self-indulgent to find much of an audience.

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