This review is written from the point of view of someone who has read the book first, then watched the film.
If you're just planning on watching the film, you'll probably think its ok. You may even think its better than ok! Don't bother buying the film if you've read the book first; rent it or borrow it instead.
When I read Screwed, I didn't realise it had been made into a film. When I found out that it had, I was happy as I'd enjoyed the book and thought I'd give it a try.
As it turns out the film is a big disappointment by comparison to the book, which is a decent account of British prison life, from the point of view of a prison warden. Other than the fact that the film's cast is mostly male, and the setting is a prison built in the Victorian era, the film has virtually nothing to do with the book. The names aren't even the same in most cases, nor do many of the book's characters make an appearance! Barely any of the stories from the book have made it into the film, and those that have don't have the same impact as they did on paper.
The film turns the morality of Thompson's clique of prison wardens from the book right on its head. Instead of representing the screws as a work-hard, play-hard bunch, he's used the film to make them look like con-bashing, drug-taking morons. Thompson & Co have obviously opted to pander to the audience of Kidulthood etc by glorifying crime and making prisoners look hard done by. Including Noel Clark and Frank Harper in the cast won't have done any harm here either. Still, as long as it pays.
Ronnie Thompson should be gutted. I don't know how he allowed it to happen. I would have expected him to have a more significant input considering he was writer of Screwed the novel, screen writer of Screwed the film and was one of the producers of the film too. You would have thought that, since he wrote the book, he owed it to himself to keep the plot of the film as close to the book as possible. Well, he hasn't.... This film is a classic example of why some books shouldn't be made into films.
I won't bother with a synopsis of the movie, its already on here, and the people who liked the film have done a good job on that front.
If you watch the film, and don't plan on reading the book, you'll doubtless like it and won't see what I'm talking about. I like this genre, and in some respects I wish I'd seen the film first because I know I would have enjoyed it loads.
I've now given the film away.