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Jon S. Baird
An orphaned Jamaican baby, adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all white area of London, became one of the most feared and respected men in Britain. CASS grew up in a time before political correctness and was forced to endure racist bullying on a daily basis, until one day when the years of pent up anger came out in a violent burst. CASS found through violence the respect he never had and became addicted to the buzz of fighting. His way of life finally caught up with him when an attempted assassination on his life, saw him shot three times at point blank range. His inner strength somehow managed to keep him alive but he was left with a dilemma; whether to seek vengeance as the street had taught him, or renounce his violent past. Written by
The extras in the fight scenes are people who were nearly exclusively those who are involved or were involved in the London underworld apart from certain stunt-men. after setting up the Leeds fight scene for most of the day the extras had had one too many beers got a little carried away and one of the stars got his head cut open with a punch. at that Cass and some others had to step in as to this day they work security at night clubs and are used to confrontations. See more »
When Doll cleans Cass's wounds, a boom mic is momentarily visible above Cass's head. See more »
Way more than just a football thuggery story, as our protagonist has to weave his way from being an orphaned Black kid (Nonso Anozie) raised by White foster parents in a predominantly White London east end neighborhood to being a self-respected man with a job, family and peace of mind. Along this most circuitous route, he encounters racism by both Whites and Blacks: by Whites because of his color and by Blacks because of his cockneyed "White" sounding speech patterns and by his reluctance to "go Black" to his so-called African/Jamaican roots. He is quite content to merely be himself and is fully comfortable with his Caucasian foster parents who brought him up with love and attention. He cares far more about his family and his mates than for some artificial and ephemeral political/racial cause. The jail cell scene with the back and forth dialogue between Cass and his "Rasta-ish" cell-mate bears this point out.
But his issues with the aforementioned football thuggery with its concomitant need for constant revenge through violence is keeping him from the realization of his true inner self, the real man he wants to be. The thrust of this film deals with how, over long periods of time, he must manage to extricate those inner demons in order to achieve any sort of lasting peace. And a superlative job indeed is done to portray this metamorphosis by Jon Baird & co., especially the lead role by Nonso. No fancy existential/psychological drama in this hard-hitting, straight-forward piece: just a man in search of himself with the hopes of finding some semblance of a peaceful, fulfilling existence.
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