Twin Town opens with wide sweeping shots of seaside Swansea; to be the place of action for the next one and a half hours. The serene setting with miles upon miles of old semi-detached ...
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Twin Town opens with wide sweeping shots of seaside Swansea; to be the place of action for the next one and a half hours. The serene setting with miles upon miles of old semi-detached housing is suddenly cleaved apart by two young lads tearing through the neighbourhood in a two tone BMW 525. Julian and Jeremy are in deep trouble. Their dysfunctional family scrapes together a living from their dole money and odd-jobs offered to their father. The boys have long since turned to drug abuse and car theft leading a happy-go-lucky life in downtown no-hoper city. In due course the plot thickens as the boys are out for revenge against wealthy club owner Bryn who is not particularly helpful in providing compensation when their father is hit by an accident when working on his premises. The boys are fairly imaginative when it comes to planning their strike, culminating in scenes which all dog-haters and karaoke loathers will love. Written by
Alexander Weidt <email@example.com>
"Edie, driving cars that don't belong to them at 90 miles an hour on the wrong side of the road is just starting to take the f****** p***"
It suddenly occurred to me while watching this film that, whether by accident or design, I've seen a whole lot of films that star Rhys Ifans. His brother Llyr appears with him here, the lesser-experienced brother that had previously only appeared in Ymadawiad Arthur and has made no further films to date. He does adequately, yet watching this - Rhys' second cinema film - it becomes clear he's the star.
Off-puttingly touted as the "Welsh Trainspotting" - because who wants imitations? - this is really nothing of the sort, and is far more impressive than you would expect. Already three years old, it has yet to be shown on British terrestrial television and nor do I expect it ever will be. It's content is morally vacuous, including police corruption, joyriding, drug taking, animal killings and murder. Peppering the script are a man who breaks his wife's nose, massage parlour brothels, female masturbation and almost continuous usage of the f-word.
If that hasn't already put you off, this is a tale that features two bath-sharing brothers, who, after being refused compensation for their father's broken leg, take revenge by urinating on their enemy's daughter. However, Twin Town, bizarrely, never really offends, as it is done in, despite the subject matter, a good-natured tone. And I did have to smile at the real-life names of the dogs that feature in this tale of cocaine dealers
Charlie and Snowy. I wonder if that was intentional?
What really grips about Twin Town is that, in the age of the depleted UK film industry, it lacks the desperate mugging and dead laugh areas that characterise the 1990s British "comedy". A desperate, "please love us America, please give us your box office, we're begging", which is normally prevalent in the genre, is almost wholly absent here. (For further information on such a desperate breed, see Rhys' first major film: "Notting Hill") Okay, there is the overstatement that sees a male voice choir singing Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime", or the twins joyriding their own father's hearse, but generally this film, despite the extremities of it's plot, does keep an eye towards realism and naturalistic dialogue. And the overlong, feeble "comic pauses" that normally kill off the rotting carcasses of British Film are nowhere to be found, due to a constantly moving, frenetic pace.
The only down side to all this is that, apart from Rhys who has appeared in, to date, ten movies after this, the rest of the crew involved haven't achieved success. In fact, this was the first feature of the two writers involved and they haven't written another film since, presumably due to its lacklustre showing at the box office. A great shame, as Twin Town is well worth watching.
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