Saturday, 19 March 2011

Anuvahood


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 Radio 1Xtra 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:

Obsessed with Film

On the Box

Movie Vortex

Mad News

Little White Lies

Makeda Wilson

The Lala Report

Anuvahood is out at all cinemas now.

4 cool comments:

LetsGoDeeper said...

Oh dear. I think that young people are loving it judging by tweets like http://bit.ly/fVneVZ and http://bit.ly/g11lvu

After he retweeted my post http://bit.ly/h74Weq Deacon went on to say he appreciated older people wouldn't like it http://bit.ly/ggkbFs so I think he accepts it won't win anything, not even a Razzie nod.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll check it too

Ondo Lady said...

Yes I suppose it is to the liking of young people who say things like "too much jokes" that is the common denominator that they are aiming at. People who do not stop to think about the implications of films like that and stop and wonder why other much better films are not being funded. Films that reflect a much truer Black experience. As for Deacon accepting that his baby won't win any awards - well that is too depressing for words. No sense of aspiration at all, in actual effect he is admitting that his film is a pile of shit.

SoFrolushes said...

Your review of the film only confirms what I expected. I loved the Friday films and I also enjoy Are we there yet. Those films are parodies but with a clear plot. Even 1 Day has a plot.

I have not yet seen Anuvahood, but from the trailers I can see that Adam Deacon is furthering his typecast and has not done anything to stretch himself as an actor. maybe that is what he likes.

Young people may like this film but which ones. So glad I read your review. I will wait for someone to hand me a copy.

slim said...

I totally agree, I just came back from watching the movie. At first I thought, ok - UK version of Friday mixed with Don't Be A Menace; not bad, but since reading your review I agree fully esp about the tom foolery and "bluds" We need something better!