Ok I will be honest, initially the title of this film did not appeal to me at all and I had immediately placed it into the category of Kidulthood and Adulthood with no intention of seeing it ever. Then a good blogger mate gave me the lowdown and explained that Anuvahood is actually a moment in time - it is the UK version of Friday and the first 'urban' comedy to be released in the mainstream cinema. It even had a decent PR budget (rather unheard of with urban films) with director, Adam Deacon appearing in a double spread interview in the Evening Standard and appearances on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio1Xtra and on top of that a celebrity clad premiere at Leicester Square. I decided that as a pop cultural commentator that I owed it to myself and my lovely readers to see this film and report back with my findings. I will point out that I had read no reviews and I had received no press releases so I went in with very little information on the film. All I knew was that it was a send up of young urban culture.
I was going to say lets start with the plot but one of the fundamental issues with Anuvahood is that there is no plot. So I will give you a summary as to what happens Kenneth aka K played by Adam Deacon is a young wasteman who suffers from delusions of grandeur, he seems to be under the impression that he is a hot shot but the sad reality is that he works at a supermarket and lives with his mum on a council estate. After an argument with his boss he quits his job on a whim to concentrate on his music. His possee of friends consist of TJ played by Jazzie Zonzolo, a squealing pansie, Lesoi played by Michael Vu is a PSP fanatic who gets dragged into his friend's escapades and Bookie played by Femi Oyeniran is the so-called sensible one out of the team (but considering they are all buffons that would not have taken much effort) then there is newcomer, Enrique played by Ollie Barbieri, a naive Spaniard who is staying with family friends for a few months. The friends divide their time between hanging out on their estate talking pure nonsense and being terrorised by the local gangster, Tyrone played by Richie Campbell. Things come to a head when K starts selling weed on Tyrone's patch who immediately retaliates by teaching K and co a lesson and steals Lesoi's PSP and TJ's trainers. This leads for the group to fall out with K and turn their back on him. Determined to make amends K breaks Tyrone's flat to retrieve his belongings and also sets up Tyrone so his ghetto baby mother catches him cheating with a blonde bimbo. Outraged by this treachery Tyrone seeks out K to teach him a lesson or two.
Ok where shall I start? This film was cringing on so many levels. I was expecting a comedy film about youngsters in London to be - well funny but this was just painful. There is no sense of narrative and the film is just peppared with slang terms such as 'blud' 'ya get me' 'badman MC' 'on a bigger ting' and 'my size' and not a lot more besides. We are presented with tomfoolery and buffoons you just want to slap the hell out of. The character of Enrique seemed to serve no purpose, despite being given a big intro into the film he just faded into the background. Also the violence in the film seemed really excessive for a what is supposed to be a comedy. I will stress again that I am aware that this is supposed to be a parody of urban culture but I find it insulting and downright lazy. Making fun of working class kids living on a council estate who aspire to get into music and are involved in gangs and drugs. Yawn - shoot me now. It was just so unoriginal, predictable and dull and just the sort of 'safe' film that the UK film heavyweights would back in order to guarantee their return on investment. This takes me back to 1998 when Babymother was released and everyone hated that - well this is just the same. It is 2011 and this is the best we can come up with as a representation of youth culture? What a waste of talent!
On a positive note props to Revolver Entertainment on delivering a fantastic marketing campaign. Regardless of its many flaws, they created a buzz about the film and got everyone talking about it. I also applaud the way they tapped into urban magazines such as RWD and Flavour and got them to run ads and interviews to promote the film. I also have to admit that the website is very impressive and relevant to what young people are into hence the Anuvahood apps and presence on Facebook and Twitter. Brilliant marketing campaign, shame about the film.
Check out other brilliant reviews of the film below:
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