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Clapham Junction (2007)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  22 July 2007 (UK)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,675 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 7 critic

36 hours in the lives of a number of gay men in Clapham, South London.

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Title: Clapham Junction (TV Movie 2007)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roger Hopkirk
James Bellamy ...
Black Youth 2
Robin Berry ...
Man in Toilet 2
...
Belinda Hopkirk
...
Marion Rowan
...
Gavin
Philip Childs ...
Newscaster
Jason Frederick ...
Black Youth 1
Richard Freeman ...
Registrar
...
Robin Cape
...
TV Assistant
Jefferson Hall ...
Mail Man
...
Tough Man
Francis Lee ...
Murray
...
Alfie Cartwright
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Storyline

Robin, a gay writer, has his script declined by a television executive whilst school-boy Theo stalks his neighbour Tim, on whom he spies through the window. Terry, who lives with his grandmother, prepares for a night out whilst professionals Gavin and Will celebrate a civil partnership though faithless Will flirts with young waiter Alfie, giving him his ring. Terry picks a man up at a gay club, inexplicably giving him a savage beating-up. Robin goes cruising in a toilet meeting the closeted Julian, before going on to a dinner party with married friends. To Robin's surprise Julian also turns up, having hidden in a cubicle whilst Alfie was pursued and attacked by gay bashers. Terry finds the severely injured waiter but rather than help him steals Will's ring. The dinner party guests, who also number Theo's parents, see the ambulance draw up for Alfie but Julian refuses to tell the police what he saw, to Robin's dismay. Terry himself is also beaten up and treated in hospital by Gavin, ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their Lives Will Never Be The Same Again

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 July 2007 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Presented as the centerpiece drama in the UK's Channel 4 40th anniversary season dedicated to the decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
radio announcer: 30 degrees plus expected today. In fact, we could break the record which stands as the twelfth of June this year...
doctor: Look to the right.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Screenwipe: Review of the Year 2007 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Negative and simplistic film that offers little
1 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I watch a film I normally try to ignore what the critics have said and just focus on what the film does (or doesn't) do for me. However it was more a problem for me with Clapham Junction when it was shown as part of the Channel 4 series of films and programmes to mark the 40th anniversary since male homosexuality was legalised. Unwittingly I watched the panel discussion 40 Years Out before I saw this film, and the first part of the former was a group of commentators laying into the producer of the latter. I remember being quite entertained by this match-up but was wary to make up my mind for myself rather than just repeating what the likes of Matthew Parris et al had said.

Problem is though, they were bang on the money in what they said because Clapham Junction is a poor film and a very strange choice to show as part of this series of films. As a narrative it is basically an interweaving set of characters all of whom has some comment on the nature of being a male homosexual in this day and age. However, as a piece of writing it is surprisingly lacking. The characters are connected by coincidence and convenience, without any degree of respect for the viewer. This is a minor issue though because my main one was how negative the entire film was. I have no gay friends and have not a part to play in the modern gay experience but this film seemed to be harking back to the 1980's rather than the noughties. Nobody is cast in a good light – the film opens with the groom of a civil partnership couple cheating with a waiter during the reception before following on with queer bashing, cottaging, a 14 year old seducing (then f***ing) an older man etc etc. It is tiresome after a while and has little to say about what it means to be gay today. What little it does say of value is interesting (eg the loss of the thrill of being "dangerous" that modern acceptance has brought) but it is scattered far and wide across the film.

The cast do little with what little material they have. They deliver the characters asked of them but none can find the people inside – instead they are horny, camp, in the closet, in denial, on cocaine etc etc, whatever simple classification the script has given them. Shergold's direction is OK in terms of the shots he gets but in terms of helping the material or the actors, he doesn't seem able – although Elyot's script offers him little support either.

Overall then a poor film that wallows in negativity while presenting the modern gay experience. There is little debate or discussion – just endless "shocking" scenes (yeah – shocking 10 years ago) and negative images of homosexuality with no real justification. A sense of balance would have been welcome but a less simplistic script would have been a great starting point – sadly it had neither.


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