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The Grind is a modern urban drama, set in world of sex, drug dealers, dance nightclubs and loan sharks. Vince (Freddie Connor) is the nightclub manager of The Grind in Hackney, East London and having fought his way to a decent living and respectable lifestyle he is determined to settle down and take life easier. Upon meeting and starting a relationship with Nancy (Zoe Tapper) Vinces dream of running a casino for his Boss and getting married looks set.
Bobby (Gordon Alexander), Vinces best friend from school, is released from prison and their friendship soon falls apart, Bobbys addiction to cocaine and gambling spirals out of control and he now owes a huge amount of money to Vinces boss, Dave (Jamie Foreman); owner of The Grind and an East End loan shark. Vince's life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Loyalties are tested and friendships are pushed to their limits.
The Grind features a commanding ensemble cast including Jamie Foreman (Layer Cake, Nil By Mouth), Danny John-Jules (Red ...
OK first up. This film is clearly REALLY LOW BUDGET and I see from the credits of the director it's his first film and was made from a previous short film he made some years before. So going from a short to a feature is clearly a MASSIVE step up and over all I felt he did a pretty good job all being considered. Clearly having a bigger budget would have helped this film as they could have added more action, bigger named actors and better locations/extras, sound track and stunts etc. The DP has done a great job on this as it really helped the film feel edgy, dirty and the low budget feel really helped make it feel like a nasty bleak world! We are all going to Hoxton/Dalston darling!" this film ain't! :-) I personally thought the casting of Jamie Foreman was a master stroke as His dad used to be a real Hackney gangster and was in fact a hit man for the Krays for some years and KILLED A FAIR FEW PEOPLE FOR THEM. Foreman therefore lent the film a greater feel of realism than going for just another east end bad guy boss like other crime films have done. It was also a interesting part for Danny John Jules and bar his deleted extras scene in "Lock Stock" I haven't really seen him play that kind of role before or anything of that kind of low budget nature so I guess he and Foreman must have really seen something different in the realness of the script like for example Bobbie owing Foreman only £10k rather than say £250k which is more of a movie sum of money to kill someone over. In fact the fact he beat him to death himself for such a small sum of money was really shocking for me but again set up this kind of harsh and bleak, true London world. The movie does have it's flaws though it has to be said! There are far too many roles in the film (the cast seems pretty massive), there are clearly not enough extras in the night club which either means it was a real dive of a club or the film just didn't have enough money to really fill out the club scenes properly as they must have all cost money. A bit of both I would have thought. The trance music score wasn't really to my tast either but then I'm no trance fan so that's hard to judge the movie down for that one. Also the club scenes should have been edited a bit more as they did go on a bit. All in all I felt the director did a very good job on his first movie with room for improvement moving forward for future films. The Grind was a very gritty, real and hard depiction of a quickly changing part of the east end. This movie deserves it's place in the collection of gritty realistic low budget crime films. A pretty good job!
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