A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
The film uses "Non-Educated DelinquentS" as a "backronym" for "neds" as it is commonly used in modern day Scotland since the 90s. The English equivalent is chav. Many people including police officials and politicians (including famously Rosie Kane MSP) have discussed the term ned using this definition. As the term ned has been used far longer and dates back to the 19th century according to the OED it is not proven that this is the true origin of the term. See more »
The film is set in 1973. In the disco scene, "Teenage Rampage" by The Sweet is one of the records played. "Teenage Rampage" was released in January 1974. The band's previous single, "Ballroom Blitz" (September 1973) would fit with the film's chronology, but "Teenage Rampage" is better suited to the narrative which may explain the decision to use the later recording. See more »
Well, you two better keep eating your porridge, 'cause it looks as if the future of the human race is gonna depend on you.
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It's like a long, hard scream in the face, followed by a hammer to the head. A brilliant portrayal of anger and life on the wrong side of the tracks
Peter Mullan has proved himself to be as good a director as he is an actor with some very good films and shorts. His short film "Fridge" in 1995 was one of the most eerie and disturbing pieces of film I think I've ever seen, primarily due to the nihilistic and tense atmosphere. "The Magdalene Sisters" in 2002 was a tremendous film that finally opened an nations eyes here in Ireland to the horrors that took place in these institutions for decades. Now, in 2010, Mullan returns home to the Glasgow of his youth with "Neds" (Non-Educated Delinquents). Set in the 1970's, the film charts the fall of a very smart kid who one summer falls into the wrong crowd and subsequently discovers an evil and dangerous person inside himself.
The film begins at a primary school where John McGill is receiving a school award for his outstanding academic achievements. He is finished primary school now and after the summer he'll be in secondary school. On this same day, he is verbally attacked by an older boy from the school who tells him that next year when he comes to 'his' school, he's going to get the crap beaten out of him, so to speak. McGill is terrified at first, but he goes to find his older brother Bennie who is a notorious thug around the estate. Bennie and his friend Fergie sort this bully out. And it looks like everything will be fine for John, and as the years go by, he finds himself top of all his classes. But when he is about seventeen, one summer changes it all and he finds himself heading down a violent and dark path that he won't be able to come back from...
I've been eagerly awaiting "Neds" ever since I seen the trailers for it months ago. When I rented it the other day, the inscription on the box further excited me: "Trainspotting meets This is England". Well in terms of nihilism and it's 'hold-back-no-punches' attitude, "Neds" is like "Trainspotting". In terms of the coming of age story and brutal empathy, "Neds" is like "This is England". However, "Neds" goes beyond the drama and horrors depicted in these films and is like a long, hard scream in the face. It's pretty violent, brutal at times, but it's all necessary for Mullan to bring to us what life was like, and today still is, for many young people who can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time or just mixed up in a crowd that they can't get out of. Or, in McGill's case, they've done things - some horrible and barbaric things - that they just can't run away from. The past is never far behind.
Conor McCarron is superb in this film, and I found it very hard to believe it when I saw on his profile here on IMDb that this is his to date only performance. What a debut role to take on. His transformation from a quite, shy intellect into an absolute apathetic savage is brilliantly charted by directer Peter Mullan, and is evidently displayed in all it's horror and glory by McCarron. Mullan plays a role in this film himself, as McGill's abusive alcoholic father. Gary Lewis ("Gangs of New York") appears in quite a strange and quirky role as one of the teachers in the school.
"Neds" portrays teenage apathy and anger exceptionally well, it's definitely one of the best I've come across. It depicts gang activity and violence to the point that it's so realistic and devastating you want to look away, and unlike many other films (Such as "Green Street" for example), it can portray the gangs and culture and violence without glamorizing it. I came away with this film with a very strange and profound feeling of empathy in my gut, and it was as though I was shell shocked from it. The final, metaphoric scene, is amazing and just goes to show and prove the extent of Peter Mullan's brilliant talent. I look forward to his next project, and indeed, McCarron's next role.
I recommend "Neds" to everyone. It's a must-see because it tells it as it is in many places in society, and is a haunting testimony to does who find themselves on the wrong end of the tracks and never come back.
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