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3.8 out of 5 stars
Kidulthood [DVD]
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
In my mid-teens I was more the geeky type who hung around the library at school rather than a street lurker taking drugs and speaking in that fake 'gansta' accent which has become so popular over the last decade. Although this film reflects a social group I don't really identify with, I can still appreciate the very personal stories which weave together in this British film which speaks to an audience often overlooked - for many there are scenarios and characters in Kidulthood with whom they can identify.

This initially feels like several disjointed stories taking place shortly after the suicide of a girl, a victim of bullying. But the stories start to intersect and end up interwoven in a series of events which neatly come together and reach a tidy conclusion throughout course of the day this film is set. The film doesn't shy away from portraying the drugs culture and the sexual activities of these fifteen year olds. Their behaviour is violent, and regularly vulgar but the youths here aren't demonised, by getting to see their personal circumstances we can see how they are often misunderstood and mistreated - something even they fail to recognise.

The synthetic dialect and accent along with the macho positioning is pure pure showmanship, and inside these are still kids with insecurities. As the characters develop we see that those who take drugs want escape, those who are promiscuous want affection, and those who are violent need to feel in control of a life controlled by others. Kidulthood doesn't glamorise drug taking or underage sex, for those involved it all seems so cool but for us the viewer we get to see their microcosm from the outside and instead of looking on in awe we recognise how sad it really all is. The kids may seem strong but in many cases they are being manipulated by adults, but they find comfort in belonging to a group but it's a way of life which can trap them into not realising their true potential.

I said at the start of this review that the social group these kids belong to isn't one I identify with - but I can still identify with the characters. They sometimes feel like caricatures of themselves but overall Noel Clarke has done a tremendous job in writing a screenplay where the characters are believable, and perhaps more importantly, representative of many other teens out there. Kidulthood is tinged with tragedy but we also see moments of aspiration and hope, this isn't a film desperate to be gritty and cool - it seems more concerned with bringing to the screen an honest presentation of what modern life is like more many teenagers out there. I've read criticism of the acting but I thought it fit the tone of the film well, it's naturalistic and doesn't feel overly acted.

The Blu-Ray transfer is impressive - especially seeing as this is a low budget feature, I expected the picture to be grainy and perhaps a bit washed out - but it's surprisingly punchy and full of detail. The audio has been well mastered to make the most of the much applauded soundtrack (though, it's not to my taste to be honest!) and the music is very clear, more so than the speech. The speech isn't quiet or muffled, but in comparison to the music there is less clarity there. There's no subtitles track, I personally didn't need it but the lingo, thick accent, and the speed of conversation may mean that some (such as those hard of hearing) may struggle.

In a nutshell: I think some people have focussed too much on the sex and violence when they look at this film - instead this is best considered as an insight into a youth culture where the human stories and personal circumstances are as important as those any in any other walk of life.
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on 29 April 2012
Firstly I would like to say as a 15 year old watching this I found it interesting as to how the director of this movie portrayed this movie on how teenagers who live in deprived areas and get into trouble. Me however - I live in a good area somewhere you'll never know...
SO I wanted to say how impressed I am about this movie. It isn't THAT biased in all honesty. Its showing how ANYONE can get involved into gang life.
Firstly about the girl hanging herself because of bullying. Firstly this is a brilliant example of how how extreme in some cases bullying can get. So in this case I don't think that its that bad. But if I had to make a bad point about this film is that it has quite of unnecessarily swearing in it but im not so bothered about that.

Also I think that Alisa being pregnant at 15 is another example of how teenage girls can easily caught up into mess like this as well and how difficult it is being pregnant and being a teenager (im male by the way, I just watch a load of teenage mother programmes!) But the point is this film is aimed at teenagers to not get involved into the wrong crime. Forget the violence and sexual scenes this actually made me realise the reality of the modern day world. How easy it is to get hold of drugs, get pregnant and die in violence.
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on 15 February 2012
Written by and starring Noel Clarke, Kidulthood received a lot of praise on its release in the UK, both critically and from the general movie-goer. I'd even heard it called "the UK 'Kids'". Well, it is a very good film, well acted and very gritty. Sometimes it does feel as though it is overacted to scare the viewer into thinking what life is like in the inner-London estates, but still, the things portrayed do happen daily so the scenes are welcome. I wouldn't say it is anywhere near as good as 'Kids' and in fact, I find them uncomparable and although some subjects in both are reasonably close, the films are very different. Overall, Kidulthood is a well made British film about inner-city youth that is worth a look though, and Noel Clarke impresses as a writer, despite being known in the UK as an actor. Recommended. 3.5/5
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on 20 January 2013
I am myself a 16 year old and i can tell you that this movie is spot on. I know a lot of people have been abusing the movie but really it is down to earth. It is a realistic movie that dipicts the problems of working class youth violence in London. And i know from first hand experience that this kind of thing happens a lot in these places. The actors did a great job, especially Adam Deacon and all the actors featured are from the areas where the movie is set making it all authentic. And a lot of the characters are true to life.

People who turn down this movie dont tend to really understand what is going on and I wouldnt let their views turn you away from it.

Gritty, down to earth, rough, emotional and a sensational soundtrack. MUST SEE
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2006
Kidulthood is one of those films that will incite debate. Love it or hate it, Kidulthood serves as a commentary on contemporary society, from which ever angle you choose to look.

The film centres around a group of teenagers at high school in inner-city London. With the suicide of one of their classmates, they are given the day off, using it for less than constructive means, resulting ultimately in tragedy.

If the extreme storylines don't feel a bit too much for your tastes, the language certainly will. At times, you feel yourself screaming for a full sentence to be uttered, as the film would appear to give a negative view of today's youth. But, the film's fast pace, however, reflects a youth growing up too fast, tangled in a web of sex, drugs and violence before receiving a National Insurance number. You can't argue that this film depicts elements within our society.

Despite this extreme nature and inconsistencies among the characters, Kidulthood is definately worth your hard-earned time, particularly for the direction of Menhaj Huda. Clever use of camerawork give the film a stylish feel and the more poignant moments of the film are dealt with believably, building to a rarity in modern cineam: a strong ending.

Whatever message you feel this film offers, it certainly works. Despit its flaws, it gives a good depiction of modern teenage life. Whether portraying the extremes or an accurate message, kidults will love this film!
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on 7 October 2014
So shockingly bad it's almost good.
It's like a blue version of Grange Hill or something, a ridiculous fantasy take on London youth culture - I know it's bleak for kids in the city, but this is absolute nonsense.
The acting is weak, the plot is laughable and the direction clumsy.
Worst of all, you have to worry that it simply glamorises anti social behaviour, casual violence and recreational drug use.
Tosh - Noel Clarke was in his late twenties when he wrote this...bit embarrassing
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I bought this for my girlfriend, who was very much working class. That's fine, but she seemed to think this film was making some kind of special point about the lives of people in socio-economic class 8. It's not, really, is it? It is trying too hard to make a point, and not hard enough to make an enjoyable film.

I don't need to buy a DVD to experience anti-social scumbags, I can just go outside. There is no point buying this DVD if your postcode starts with "SE".
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
To start off this film is very much single minded. It doesn't dodge any subjects and it only shows the one extremist side of teenage life. It does not make the statement that all teenagers are sex mad,drug addicts with deep social problems.
The film does reference to all of the above though. It tackles many issues and always comes up with a positive meaning without being patronising, or parent like.
The film feels a little slow in parts with a few scenes slightly strained out.The writing on the whole is brilliant,caputuring a story taking places over 2-3 days.
The best thing about the film is the writing in fact.The teenagers actually use words teenagers use, the feeling of realism is uncanny sometimes (as a 17 year old Londoner myself),it's suprisingly captures the contemporary feeling of many teenagers in 'poorer' areas.
The film very rarely steps onto abstract areas, with simple and believable ideas throughout,with a few touches of comedy.
Unfortunately its best attribute is its downfall.Some older generations may not be able to understand the most part of the film as it uses much coloquial teenage language throughout.This will (guarenteed) add to comedic value as the words quickly date with the fast paced generation it encompasses. Think of it as how 'A Hard Days Night' was a film of its time.
As a stand-alone contemporary film, no other has shown the British 'ghetto' as well as this,this beats the highly reccomended Bulletboy.It shows what Britain as a nation of film can do and is a harrowing image and dramatisation (striking similarities though) of hard, teenage life. Highly reccomended!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2008
Persuaded to rent this by my daughter. Being from London the youth-speak was easy to follow. Bit worrying if you don't know what the little sods- sorry teenagers- get up to. Reasonably well acted. Not a bad film at all. Important not to over-hype though. Not one to show to your nan.
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on 24 March 2014
The film tells the story of a group of very thick swearing teenagers mostly black who like to go around abusing other children. It relies on bad language for its efects. After 45 minutes of relentless bad language and total monotony I turned off. Be smart, Dont bother.
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