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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 1,757 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Beard ...
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
...
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

Plot Keywords:

gay | party | dinner party | dinner | ring | See All (233) »

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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Language:

Release Date:

22 July 2007 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This attracted 1.1 million viewers when first shown on Channel 4 in the UK, a good figure for a minority channel. 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

References Maurice (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Less could have been more
24 July 2007 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The problem with Kevin Elyot's (writer) and Adrian Shergold's (director) boldly ambitious "Clapham Junction" is that it attempts to bite off so much more than it can possibly chew in just under two hours. Elyot goes for an epic structure in an intimate setting. At times it looks like he's trying to cram in forty years of gay sexual history into a night and day and it just doesn't work. I wish I could have liked it more because there is so much here to admire and spread over, maybe six weekly episodes, he might have got away with it but as it stands it just doesn't ring true. This may well be down to Elyot's reliance on coincidence. All the characters seem to be inter-related. Nothing wrong with that, you might say; it has worked as a backdrop to many splendid dramas in the past but you have to suspend quite a lot of disbelief when in a city the size of London with a sizeable gay population, all the gay characters keep bumping into each other in clubs, public toilets, on Clapham Common itself or at dinner parties or just in living across the street from each other. It's a banal plot device and you can't help feeling Elyot would have made his point a lot better if the stories hadn't been connected.

Nor is Elyot particularly good at serving up dialogue that sounds believable or naturalistic. The characters either talk in sound-bites or are reduced to double-entendres. If he can get in a crass joke, he does and nobody comes out of it well. But at least he tries. There is hardly an aspect of gay life, (or of 'straight' society's reaction to it), that he leaves unexplored. He even gives us the self-loathing bit of gay trade who beats up his pick-up for the night, (and later gets beaten up himself), and the film's most successful story is the one between the pedophile and the fourteen year old boy who worships him, (this only let down by casting a twenty-three year old actor as the boy).

It is also very unevenly acted. There may be an in-joke of sorts in casting James Wilby and Rupert Graves, (the lovers from "Maurice"), Wilby as a closeted married man and Graves as an out and aging queen he eyes up in a toilet and later meets at a dinner party. Perhaps if these parts had been better written neither actor would have looked so foolish. The best performances come from Jospeh Mawle and Luke Tredaway as the pedophile and the boy and it's very much to their credit that they lift a very difficult subject and make it moving and oddly romantic. Detractors will, of course, find this story the most objectionable for obvious reasons although the producers have cushioned the blow by casting the obviously older Tredaway as the boy.

The film itself takes as its basis the real-life murder of Jody Dobrowski on Clapham Common in 2005 but the impact is weakened by the episodic structure. Ultimately "Clapham Junction" is neither fish nor fowl but an unwieldy hybrid. Its heart may be in the right place but you can't help but feel it does its subject, (whatever you take its subject to be), something of an injustice.


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