6.4/10
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7 user 17 critic

Bigga Than Ben (2008)

Spiker & Cobakka are two self-confessed 'pieces of Moscow scum' who come to London to rip it off. This is their guide.

Director:

(as Suzie Halewood)

Writer:

(as Suzie Halewood)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Cobakka
Andrey Chadov ...
Spiker
...
Artash
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Terence Anderson ...
Sad Jamaican
...
Sergei
Mary-Ann Cafferkey ...
Cashback Tesco Girl
Cecilia Colby ...
Beautiful Aussie Girl
...
Aussie Girl
...
Bookshop Girl
Mervyn Etienne ...
Tube worker
...
Spartak
Oliver Houston ...
Russian Gangster
Dado Jehan ...
Alex Lawler ...
Phone salesman
Rad Lazar ...
Raoul the bookseller
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Storyline

Bigga Than Ben is a crime-fuelled tale of two likeable but wayward Russian "pieces of Moscow scum" who arrive in London intent on bettering themselves and amassing an easy fortune. But it's not long before Spiker (Andrei Chadov) and Cobakka (Ben Barnes) realise that, legally, they aren't going to get very far. So, aided by the dodgy Artash (Ovidiu Matesan) and sidekick Spartak (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), they learn to shoplift from supermarkets, rip off banks, joyride on the tube and turn mobile phones into crack. . Finding themselves drawn into a shadowy underworld of backstreet drug deals, chav nightclubs, refugees and nymphomaniacs, life begins to turn sour. The highs begin to fade. Spiker badly misses his girlfriend back in Moscow, and seeks consolation in drugs. When he slips into serious addiction and Artash double-crosses them, Cobakka finds himself forced into making some life-changing decisions Written by sh/gd

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Taglines:

Beat the system, before it beats you

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 October 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Больше Бена  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Day in a Life 2016 LP Low Res (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Kontrabandy
Written and performed by Ilya Lagutenko
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User Reviews

 
Sweet movie
10 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first heard about "Bigga than Ben: A Russian's Guide to Ripping off London" in the The St. Petersburg Times while living in Russia two years ago. The movie is based on a book of the same title (now out of print and impossible to find) by Sergei Sakin and Pavel Tetesky. The book was somewhat of a cult hit, and was criticized in England for encouraging people to defraud the system and telling them exactly how to do it. Sakin and Tetesky fell apart after the book was published and seem to disagree over who even wrote some of it, but it was definitely co-authored.

Leaving Russia, Cobaka and Spikker are amazed by the material wealth of England, but also daunted by the task of establishing themselves in London. We follow them through their various misadventures, some of which are hilarious. The story never builds to a big climax, but I think that would have been unrealistic. The film stays true to its roots and its gritty low-budget look fits the story well. The only thing I found wanting was information about their scams and how they pulled them off - for instance the book supposedly contains a lot of calling card scams that weren't really in the movie.

This movie is cheap, short, funny, and good. Its a great film for any English-speakers who also speak Russian or are interested in Russia. And above all, Andrei Chadov (if you haven't see ZHIVOY, run, don't walk, to your video store and get it) and Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), both put in awesome performances. They have a great chemistry and I can't imagine better casting for these roles - they also look a lot like the real-life duo, who are shown in a photo during the end credits. I'm hoping for Bigga than Ben 2!


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