Trevor is a 16 year old, sometimes-violent skinhead with no regard for authority, and would rather spend his time stealing cars than sitting in the detention centre to which he is sent. His...
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Trevor is a 16 year old, sometimes-violent skinhead with no regard for authority, and would rather spend his time stealing cars than sitting in the detention centre to which he is sent. His social worker, Harry Parker, tries to do his best, but Trevor is only interested when there's something that he can get out of it. The authorities within the centre try to make Trevor conform to the norms of society, but he takes no notice, and would rather speak in a torrent of four-letter words and racial abuse. Written by
Dominic Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bravura Performance. Finest Movie Ever Made for TV.
Tim Roth blasted to the forefront of edgy screen actors with this bravura tour-de-force performance for British TV in 1982. Perhaps the finest work of an actor who has had many great performances since. It's a crying shame that most of his fans in North America have yet to see it.
This film blows me away. First saw it ages ago when Public TV in NYC daringly broadcast it unheralded and only one time. They've never shown it again, nor has it ever been shown elsewhere in the US to my knowledge. I was ecstatic recently when I managed to view the film again, for the first time in over 10 years, via a European DVD. Anyone who has seen this film knows what I mean when I say it is insane for it NOT to be released on this side of the Pond. Movies about violent youths and skinheads are not unknown over here, just not this good. The recent American History X, as fine as it was, doesn't manage a fraction of the raw intensity of Made in Britain.
Trevor, a bright, autonomous, 16 year-old is also a seething, out-of-control deeply antisocial skinhead. He's not part of a gang, not part of a clique, he's a totally alienated individual who sees himself as part of a movement. It's not enough to say that Roth is totally believable in the part. The part itself is way, way beyond your expectations when watching a film. Trevor "acts out", but Roth doesn't "act" Trevor, Roth IS Trevor for the duration of this film. Seeing Tim Roth for the first time in this film, you wouldn't initially be sure you were watching an actor play a part. For a while you might believe you were watching a real documentary about a berserk youth committing petty crimes and mayhem and oblivious to the camera. Only through the dramatic pace and development of the film and the inclusion of other, mere mortal, actors might you let the magic slip momentarily and suspect you were watching a fictional movie, but the intensity ratchets up again, and before you know it you're looking at the end-credits and wondering why it's over and wanting more, more!
Trevor on the surface is a deplorable human being: hateful, racist, selfish and violent. At the same time, he is resourceful, intelligent, and in some ways, fragile, yet in others, daring, nothing-left-to-lose. His behavior is self-destructive, his future is bleak. In short, he is fascinating and you spend the whole short 73-minute film alternately shocked, transfixed, amused, bewildered and yet, pulling for him.
If you've seen Tim Roth's other work, and you respect his abilities, you owe it to yourself to do whatever you have to do to see this film. You won't regret it. Meanwhile, someone should cut a deal to release this in North America so all of Tim Roth's hungry fans can see it!
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