Wednesday 16 September 2015

Brash Young Turks - Review


Certificate 15

Written by Paul Danquah, Ash Mahmood and Naeem Mahmood
Directed by Naeem Mahmood and Ash Mahmood

Melissa Latouche and Paul Chiedozie

Brash Young Turks marks an impressive feature debut from brothers Naeem and Ash Mahmood. It’s a gritty gripping thriller that tells of a journey into adulthood, set against the cut throat worlds of London’s estate agents and rip-off salesmen.

We are introduced to Dave and Terrell as kids forging a powerful bond of loyalty – before the movie fast forwards the pair ten years where as young men Paul Chiedozie and Charlie MacGechan turn in performances that balance impeccable style, with just enough menace and swagger.

Visually the film is a blast, with locations including Sushi Samba’s glass elevator placing the yarn firmly in the London of today. If the action is occasionally a little far-fetched, the acting is classy. In a cleverly crafted role, Melissa Latouche (who along with Chiedozie also produces) plays Mia a damaged young girl in the care of social services, who is desperate to be loved. 

There is a scene where the mixed-race Mia (living, desperately, in a children’s home where she’s sexually abused by staff) is visited by her white mum. When the visit ends and her mum just ups and leaves we see Mia, distraught, as she watches her mother hug her white husband and kids who are waiting in a car outside. In that briefest of moments Mia’s pain and back-story are brilliantly relayed via minimal dialog and exceptional performance. Genius filmmaking from the Mahmoods. 

Kimberley Marren is Shaz, the long term “moll” of Dave and Terrell and she does well in a role that needed just a little bit more from the writers. Richard Shelton puts in a convincing bad-guy as millionaire property man/the young turks’ nemesis Holmes. Elsewhere the venerable Julian Glover gives a lovingly played turn (even if his dialog is as corny as hell) as a cynically ripped-off pensioner and listen out too for Julian’s missus, Isla Blair as a radio newsreader.

D Double E’s music gives the film a thrilling pulse and Inspire - Hackney's Education and Business Partnership also deserve a shout out for the vision they've shown in getting behind the production. A bold and ballsy movie, Brash Young Turks is much of what young London in 2015 is all about.

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