Sobakka and Spiker, two young Muscovite bad lads come to "Foggy Albion" to seek their fortune on gold-paved streets of London. Their tactics? Play the benefit system, defraud the banks and nick stuff from Tesco's. Unfortunately it's a little harder than they expected...
A sideways look at the British underclass in all its bigoted glory, Bigga Than Ben is very obviously an attempt to do Trainspotting
for the 21st Century: black(ish) humour, freeze-frame cinematography, mildly humorous subtitles and quirky "played-for-the-camera" acting. The two protagonists, played by Ben Barnes and Andrey Chadov certainly have the cheeky charm of Rentboy Renton and Spud Murphy and they do their job well. Unfortunately the film doesn't quite live up to its promises and the comedy falls a little flat. The plot lacks a clear direction, the moral of the story is neither particularly strong or clear and, by the time you get to the end, there is little closure to the affair.
I found the characters to be stereotyped: the English obsession with illegal immigrants and asylum seekers is a strong theme - we're not ALL Daily Mail readers, honestly! However, the nice little twist here was that most of the xenophobic Brits in the film were themselves "ethnics", be they black, Asian, Irish or from oop North (sorry - I jest).
Beware, there is drug use, shoplifting and bad language aplenty. The dialogue is also a little hard to follow (probably intentionally so) and I ended up watching this with the subtitles going.
Mildly diverting, Bigga Than Ben is worth a watch, but probably doesn't demand a special trip to the video rental shop.