Tuesday 5 July 2011

Today's Review: Anuvahood

I was actually almost looking forward to this movie. I thought it would be the send up that this ridiculous genre of London rudeboy movies needs. Unfortunately I was wrong. My suspicions were raised even before I got to the DVD menu. There was a teaser trailer about the new movie "from the producers of Shank and Anuvahood". It's called Sket. Except they didn't tell me anything about it except for the title. Still, it's a slang word for a whore, so that'll sure be exciting.

Next was some grime artist that I don't remember the name of, probably something like Dirty Platez or Grim Nappiez. He was telling me how when a film like this comes out, everyone's excited and wants to download it straight away, but this costs the movie industry millions, so don't do it yeh? The way he spoke to me in his harsh London tones, pointing his hands at me and moving them around, it really spoke to me. I'll never download a movie again.

But onto the movie. Adam Deacon is in it, like he's in pretty much every other movie like this, be it Kidulthood or Shank. This time he plays the lead, Kenneth. You'd expect him to be some street wise gangster willing to mess up some bluds, but no, this time he is a wasteman. Excuse me for my lingo, but I've been hearing this stuff for almost an hour and a half, nothing else makes sense anymore. Anyway, everything Kenneth does is wrong. First he quits his job at Laimsbury's (good one, almost didn't get that), and every attempt to make money or get some girls backfires, presumably not because he's demanding to perform sexual acts on a woman, but because he's doing it in slightly the wrong way.

What follows is a hilarious chain of events that sees Kenneth stumble his way through life, hanging out with his friends, trying to sell weed, and mentoring a Spanish guy who's moved to the area to learn English. Why this character exists, I don't know, because he seems to just sit there when he should be telling everyone how wrong everything they say and do is.

This is what baffles me about these types of movies. I can hardly understand what they're saying. Fortunately I have access to Urban Dictionary, and have managed to decipher some phrases from sitting through other movies in the genre, but I'm sure there should be a subtitle option that actually translates everything into proper English. Lingo is thrown about at such a speed it's hard to even make out any words, were it not for the fact that these people repeat themselves about three times. At one point someone calls Kenneth "jammy", and Kenneth proceeds to tell them that jam is in fact something you put on toast, obviously stating that you should not say anything that has another meaning in the English language. Yet in the very next sentence he says "You wanna stay here and jam?" Way to stick to your guns there, big guy. 

Working in Blockbuster you have to learn to inform people when the movie they've picked up is foreign. 95% of the time they will put it back, because they only picked it up because there's someone with a gun on the cover. People don't want to read subtitles, they want to know when the English version is coming out. I despair. But these very same people are the ones who will rent out movies like Anuvahood, which are clearly not in English at all. Cries of "murk", "shank", "sket", "bludclot" and "fam" are rattled off at ridiculous speeds, and it was hard to keep up with what was going on.

Not that there was too much going on. It's the same old generic London youth gangster crap. Someone robs someone else, the victim tries to get their stuff back, which pisses off the guy who did it, so they have a showdown. Tension is in the air, but thankfully a good old bout of violence makes everything okay again, because that's just how it goes. Everyone now respects our hero because he managed to punch a guy in the face, because previously he was un-punchable or something. 

The characters were difficult to relate to, because I'm not a scumbag. I was watching the first half of the movie thinking this might well be a spoof, because the characters are so ridiculously over the top and hyper. But then I remembered that in movies like Kidulthood the characters were pretty much the same, and that was meant to be serious. I guess the only thing that makes this a comedy is that the lead is a loser, but I didn't really get drawn into that because every single character seemed like a loser to me.

Okay, so I clearly hate these types of movies. But Anuvahood, considering its circumstances, is not so bad. It actually has a storyline, despite the amount of time the characters spend rambling about how many "links" they've got, and I appreciate that they're trying to send up the genre, even if the result was completely wrong. At least it'll keep the people who made it and the people who watch it off the streets for a while, so they can't go around shouting about "peng gash" and shanking unfortunates to take their trainers. If you like your rudeboy gangster movies you'll probably want to give this a go. If you've never seen any, you'll be completely baffled and horrified. 

My rating: 2/5

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