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I was looking forward to watching The Grind. Having been a fan of Jamie Foreman for years, and his fantastic turn in EastEnders over the last 6 months, this film looked interesting.
And was it any good? It was pretty good for a low budget film, to be fair. The story of a couple of mates, with one owing money to the other's boss is a familiar line. Martin Scorsese did this with Mean Streets nearly 30 years ago. But it works here in the Hackney setting.
Performances range from very good to poor. Stand outs are Foreman and Danny John-Jules (Cat from Red Dwarf)
Production values are good - visually it holds well, having gone for the gritty street realism of Nil By Mouth and Fish Tank. You can see the angle the Director had gone for in presenting a urban, street level feel.
The problems are fairly easy to point at. The female characters are underused. The Vince character isn't great, it would have been better to have focused solely on the main character Bobby. And some of the dance scenes go on a bit, so if you like trance, that's great, but otherwise...
Having said that, the pluses are there. The director has a strong visual sense, the locations are reminders of what many Londoners live through outside of the glare of the media. Jamie Foreman is at his most serious best, in fact his best performance in years. The story and dialogue is good.
So it's a bit hit and miss, but worth a watch, even just to see Danny John-Jules and Jamie Foreman in strong performances, and the evocative settings and visuals. And it's a whole lot better than some of the British dross out there.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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