Top positive review
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Very Good Follow up to `Shank'
on 13 September 2013
This is the latest film from Bristol based producer and director Christian Martin. He has chosen to reprise the main character from his first feature length production, Cal. He was last seen as that persona in the rather good `Shank'. Wayne Virgo plays the character again and as ever is very believable. This chapter sees him return from his European travels where he has been working in kitchens as a casual.
He has returned after receiving a post card from him mother's lodger, the alcoholic `Aunty Jane', who has told him his mum is in hospital. He arrives in austerity Britain when Bristol is suffering the same fate as London in the summer riots. He gets involved with a local pimp Ivan (Daniel Brocklebank) when he tries to help one of his boys Jim. Ivan takes Cal's passport and Cal decides to let Jim stay at his mum's house to escape the regular violence of the streets. Their relationship then lurches between friendship and inter dependence as they try to sort out their future and Cal tries to sort out his past.
There is a lot here including sexual exploitation, poverty, dependency, drug abuse, homophobia, violence and relationship issues as well as blatant criminality. Most of the issues are handled sensitively and in an un- clichéd way, which is appreciated. There are some plot holes or stretches that some may not be over the moon with; to say what they are would be a plot spoiler. That is done for the purposes of the narrative and is only mildly irksome and actually forgivable.
`Shank' was a welcome breath of independent film fresh air that tackled issues of homosexuality without being an excuse for soft porn and this is very much in the same vein. People are often victims of their circumstances and that is the case here, but what I also like is that those circumstances can be changed for the better with help and a push to make the right choices. Christian Martin has made another very watchable film that raises issues and deals with them in a very human way. Recommended for all indie fans and those who like `gay' themed films to have a bit of thought put into them.