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Shifty, a young crack cocaine dealer in London, sees his life quickly spiral out of control when his best friend returns home. Stalked by a customer desperate to score at all costs, and with his family about to turn their back on him for good, Shifty must out-run and out-smart a rival drug dealer intent on setting him up for a big fall. As his long time friend Chris confronts the dark past he left behind him, Shifty is forced to face up to the violent future he's hurtling towards.
While a subject that is quite familiar to low budget UK films, 'Shifty' is better than most.
The tiny budget may have made too much flashiness impossible, the film is all the better for it. Since it gives a more realistic touch and lets the characters develop.
The film does was it sets out to do well, 24 hours in the life of a drug dealer (who unlike the usual stereotype had choices due to his good education and once supportive family). His limited world is upturned by an old friend returning to town after 4 years, after an event, not revealed until late in the film, though he has plenty of other problems looming.
Well shot, good characters, good script and it kept me interested from start to finish with some very good moments within a tight narrative.
Plenty of similar films in this genre deliver less than they promise, 'Shifty' on the other hand, to quote a well known advert in the UK 'Does What It Says On The Tin'. And does it very well. Recommended.
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