Directed by Helen Walsh
Starring Lauren McQueen
, Brogan Ellis
and Stephen Lord
A dysfunctional girl becomes tangled in a series of events after becoming involved with a local womanising hard-man in the poverty-stricken suburbs of Birkenhead.Helen Walsh
is no stranger to the urban dystopia in and around the areas of Liverpool. Two of her novels (Once Upon a Time in England and Brass) use the same setting; The Violators
represents her directorial debut and the first attempt to translate the environment to the big screen from paper.The Violators
centres on Shelly (Lauren McQueen
), a dysfunctional yet caring sister to a younger and older brother. The haphazard family of three are surviving on the bread line in a typical council estate on the outskirts of Liverpool.
Shelly carries an air of disillusionment and absentness throughout the film, withdrawn from her environment, she and her brothers are living in fear of their Father
who is in prison and is set to be released.
We are given a glimpse into the urban dystopia of Shelly’s environment, in what feels like a regression to the late 90’s era of Chav culture. The area is clearly deprived and this gritty habitat is wonderfully captured by Walsh is some scenes that revel in cinematic delight.The Violators
springs to life when Shelly and Rachel
) meet. Both are from contrasting backgrounds but share the same appetite for excitement and form an unlikely bond due to their lack of companionship and interest in the manipulative wheeler dealer hard-man Mikey (Stephen Lord
What begins as charming soon becomes disastrous. Shelly becomes involved with Mikey, who offers his protection from the release of her father in exchange for sex.
As the film draws to a close the audience is left with a feeling a desperation that shapes Shelly’s inner-core… the desperation to seek a better life for herself and her brothers, the desperation to be happy and the desperation for normality.The Violators
is an attempt at trying to capture the bland, British dystopia like Richard Ayoade
or John Michael McDonagh
. Unfortunately the script is incomparable to both and the audience is left with a stereotypical interpretation of Britain’s Asbo class that is out-dated. There were moments of cinematic delight and Lauren McQueen
’s performance oozed potential and promise.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★