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Kidulthood was sort of a test run re: Clarke's capacity to weave a narrative. Noel Clarke not only wrote Kidulthood, he also played the story's antagonist; in Adulthood, Clarke was the writer, director, and protagonist.
✔ Apparently someone thought it was good, as it won the Dinard British Film Festival award for Best Screenplay.
✔ Decent actors; for some of them, Kidulthood characters were their breakout roles, and most went on to enjoy fruitful careers.
✔ Occasionally creative cinematography.
✔ "A day in the life of..." in this case actually is only one day, which is at least an ambitious idea.
✔ Probably of interest to anthropologists.
✘ Clarke makes it all too easy to despise virtually every one of the film's 15-year-old characters; only at the end does Kidulthood give you someone to root for (sort of); for over half the duration of the movie, you kind of don't care whether or not any of the kids make it thru the day alive (the only one who elicits audience sympathy goes on to kill herself within 10 minutes of the opening shot).
✘ For us Yanks, subtitles are required to understand this heavy dialect of English (which is also very slangy); fortunately, the DVD provides Spanish AND English subtitles.
This film shows violent, disrespectful, evildoers, of both genders and many races. They are unlovable characters for which it is hard to root. I thought of the clich'e "If you lie down with dogs" as I watched this. Since the characters are so nasty to their enemies and strangers, it's no surprise that they become nasty with each other.
While American films can be multi-culty, study after study after study show that the US is highly segregated in schools, neighborhoods, and especially marriage. Here you see white, Black, and Asian Brits intermingling frequently. Not one character disapproves of interracial coupling, while in most American films, there is at least one character who would make a fuss about it. Seeing the ethnic bonding throughout the film seemed so unlike the US.
This film also shows a gray area regarding racism in the UK. For example, Black males have trouble getting a cab, but once they do ride in one, they stiff the cabbie. Later, the Black males are spied upon by store security. In the same way that "The Color Puprle" needed Sophia's story in order to show that while Celie was a domestic violence victim, all the characters still lived in a racially-oppressive context, here these mean kids also facee structural inequalities.
I kept asking myself, "Who is the audience for this film!?" I assume most films with young actors are attracting a young market. However, I did wonder if the film was meant to make adult scream, "What is this world coming to?!" This was just another film portraying youth as a "lost generation.Read more ›
For Trife, our main character, violence is an everyday part of life, him and his friends regularly get into fights, and he is being lured closer into his uncle's west side gang. Living with his single mother in a small apartment, the only way out for Trife seems to be working for his uncle. But he must decide on a life of crime or to support his pregnant girlfriend.
Alisa has just found out she is pregnant, her best friend has commited suicide, and her boyfriend has just dumped her. Feeling all alone in the world she often gives sexual favours in exchange for drugs, and is constantly harrassed by Sam, who may or may not be her babies father.
Sam is the protagonist, he regularly bullies kids at his school and uses violence to get anything he wants including girls. It is sam who sets off the chain of events that lead to the dramatic conclusion, by threatening to kill a student by the name of katie, who was the friend of Alisa's that killed herself.
UK's version of 'kids', it may not be as good, but it certainly gets its point across, shocking at times, but is a blunt assessment of todays youth and gang culture. While the acting at times isn't great, it is made up for by some great directing, you would never guess the movie was made on such a low budget. The only other negative point was the lack of sub-titles, which at times were necessary as the West London accent can be tough to understand, and this will certainly be a turn off for American audiences.
Overall a very powerful drama, with a great modern soundtrack, watch it if you liked 'kids', or 'Menace II Society', and look out for the sequel 'Adulthood'.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being from America, this isn't gangsta at all. Great Britian Thugs....lol This movie wasnt worth, The accent was hard to understand at timesPublished on November 18, 2013 by Insight
One girl is a slut, the other is a stressed out pregnant teen, one kid is a reckless troublemaker, one kid is a sociopathic bully, one girl is suicidal, the last kid is just kind... Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Hahnjob
Kidulthood is another film that makes people want to see it, by advertising a star that's in it for all of five minutes, Nick Hoult of Skins, About A Boy, and X-Men fame. Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by Todd Smith
Although well done, a bunch of UK school kids running around acting "gangsta" (American hip hop style)with thick british accents is hard not to chuckle at.Published on September 30, 2012 by Kenny&Johna
I was really surprised as to how well this movie turned out. It's a must see for anyone wanting to see something different and fresh.Published on July 30, 2012 by Chef_B