It's 3:07am and two girls burst into a run down London toilet. Joanne is crying her eyes out and her clothing is ripped. Kelly's face is bruised and starting to swell. Duncan Allen lies in his bathroom bleeding to death. Duncan's son, Stuart, has found his father and wants answers. Derek, Kelly's pimp, needs to find Kelly or it will be him who pays. Kelly and Joanne need to get through the next 24 hours alive...Written by
Britain from time to time produces brilliantly realistic urban films, and here in Paul Andrew Wiliams' debut feature we have a truly great genre entry that is awash with realism.
Joanne is a 12 year old runaway befriended by young prostitute Kelly, a tragic event leads to them fleeing from London to Brighton on the train, in furious pursuit is a pimp and a gangsters son, and all of their lives are hurtling towards a night of reckoning.
This film contains prostitutes, paedophiles, drugs, and violence, yet to even think that this film panders to genre stereotypes would be doing it an injustice. This is a gritty realistic picture that thru its bleak story telling manages to make the viewer feel a part of the events unfolding, it's harsh and unrelenting in its portrayal of the dark parts of city life that do exist in our world. The screenplay is as lean as a prize featherweight boxer, no saggy tag ons, no sub plots to bog the story down, just a hard as nails story culminating in a wonderful final reel.
Lorraine Stanley, Georgia Groome, Johnny Harris, and Sam Pruell, your names, I hope, will get to be known outside of England, because you all excellently realised characters that reminded me of people I have encountered during my life. I do hope that you will not be consigned to the forgotten filing cabinet that contains the one film wonders.
Excellent and unforgettable picture 9/10
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