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South West 9 (2001)

 -  Drama  -  12 October 2001 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 313 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 5 critic

Five very different characters are thrown together in one weird, mashed up day. It started out like any other, but 24 hours later everything had changed. South West 9 takes you through the ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Laing ...
Mark Letheren ...
Orlessa Altass ...
Helen (as Orlessa Edwards)
Nicola Stapleton ...
Zebida Gardener-Sharper ...
Jenny Jules ...
Kika Mirylees ...
Leon Herbert ...
Ellen Thomas ...
Mrs. Ashware


Five very different characters are thrown together in one weird, mashed up day. It started out like any other, but 24 hours later everything had changed. South West 9 takes you through the windscreen of the new millenium. The death of idealism, capitalism, religion and hippies. Even the drugs don't work anymore. The 'summer of love' generation have come down and they're ready to riot. Seattle. Stockholm. Paris. Genoa. May Day riots. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No Ordinary Day Trip



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12 October 2001 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

One of the better films about the London underground dance scene
25 September 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is a good movie. In spite of what some IMDB users have said, I find the characters all totally believable. And I am both involved in putting on underground parties in London, and spend most of my clubbing time in and around Brixton.

Hats off to the casting and to one or two of the actors. It is Mark Letheren ("Mitch") who steals the show for me. Spending most of the film 'totally off his tits' on LSD after an accidental dosage, his acting is worthy of awards.

Without giving too much of the story away, it is about six different characters: an Essex scammer who is trying to organise a clubnight in a church in Brixton (called "Faith", clearly a reference to Mass, which is a real-life club in a church in Brixton); his mate Mitch, rather more naive than the former character but totally likeable, in fact probably the nicest character in the whole film; a black businesswoman who works in an investment bank and who has a big secret; a young girl (played very realistically by Amelia Curtis) who lives in a squat and works behind the bar in the Dog Bar (clearly another reference to a Brixton drinking hole, the "Dog Star"); the young black guy who's the nephew of the church owner, and who is perhaps the less convincing of the actors chosen for the various roles; and finally the former National Front member who is trying to shake off the last traces of his shameful past, wishing to integrate fully with the afro-Caribbean community where he lives and has grown to love.

Whilst some things don't ring all that true (in any club, if someone is lying on the ground they will be surrounded by other clubbers trying to help), the film is pretty accurate. The squat scene (surely based on the famous Cooltan squat) is particularly inch-perfect in its detail. I am referring to the squat where Kat and the others live, rather than the Smoke House.

People who know Brixton will love it... every single house and street seems instantly recognisable... Electric Avenue, the Peace Park, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Road, Atlantic Avenue... fascinating and fun. But more importantly, they'll recognise all the character types, or even themselves, in the cast. The music is good (although perhaps not enough, but it is a sufficiently accurate depiction of the underground acid trance squat scene), and anyone who shares any antiglobalisation anticapitalist views and has been on Reclaim the Streets marches will also particularly love it. The anarchists are well depicted, accurately, not stereotypes. But if this is not your scene, don't let that put you off. You'll still enjoy the film, it just won't mean as much to you.

I wouldn't say it's a particularly feelgood movie, although there are some very amusing moments. The ending is a little sad and, perhaps, frustrating, but it is probably more realistic for that reason. It's not a downer, however.

If you get the DVD, watch the deleted scenes (well worth watching, what a shame they were deleted!) and the Story of the Filming. The latter is particularly good, showing the trials of tribulations of the cast, particularly Becky Bligh (who co-ordinated the street scenes). Entertaining stuff. Among the extra hidden features ('easter eggs') there are some short films. Be careful with your mental state when watching Short Film #3, about a bad time on drugs... it's depressing and disturbing. The main feature though, "South West 9", is relatively non-judgemental about drugs and is perfectly viewable.

Hats off to the tagline writer too. "No ordinary day trip", very droll indeed.

On the -4 to +4 scale, I give this a +2.

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