HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Shifty Brit Grit With A HeartBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Eran Creevy
Stars: Riz Ahmed, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng, Nitin Ganatra, Jay Simpson, Dannielle Brent, Francesca Annis, Kate Groombridge, Jason Maza, Jordan Long, Rory Jennings, Courtney Day
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the same vein as the sublime Shane Meadows, Eran Creevy makes his entrance on to the screen, with his directorial debut Shifty. If you’re expecting Lock Stock or Snatch, you’re going to have to have a rethink – these cockney loud mouths have got a heart.

Chris (Daniel Mays) arrives back in London, fresh from Manchester complete with a good job, steady income and, the ultimate sign for anyone under 30 that you’ve really ‘made it’ (especially in these current climes), a mortgage. The eponymous Shifty (Riz Ahmed) who he’s come to visit, on the other hand, doesn’t have a job and lives with his brother (played with aplomb by Easties resident postie, Nitin Ganatra) who continuously reminds him that he’s well a bit of a waster – he got 4 ‘A’ levels, dontcha know?

The lack of work doesn’t seem to be harming Shifty’s trainer collection much though – there’s enough in his room to rival Nike town – which raises Chris’s suspicions that there’s more to his old mate than loafing around watching telly and eating fry-ups. The answer, of course, is lying in the bottom of the freezer (or the washing machine drawer)… Drugs. And not just a bid of weed, as Chris points out, Shifty ain’t messing about with his business, he’s going all out on the hard stuff.

And so the weekend ain’t quite the quiet beer down the pub, party later that Chris had in mind. Well, it is, but first he’s gotta help Shifty, erm, shift the gear… The pair of them head out for the local estates ready to dish out the meds to their neighboring addicts, which includes a turn from the theatre lovey Francesca Annis – a somewhat out-of-place cat-obsessed crystal meth smoker.

Everything seems to be going to plan (except for a wonderful sequence in which the pair become embroiled in an off-the-back-of-a-lorry escapade), that is until, the seemingly innocuous, Trevor (Jay Simpson) enters the picture. He’s been hanging around all morning trying to pin down Shifty for a fix but to no avail, so when he eventually tracks him down, in desperation, he manages to mug him for everything – cash ‘n’ crack.

It’s here that the turn to the dark side, reminiscent of Meadows work, comes into play as plunged into despair the long-term buddies reveal things to one another that they’d been keeping under wraps – reasons why Chris went up north and why there’s animosity directed at him when anyone appears to recognise him. But they’ll need to get over their tiff quick when bad guy Glen (Jason Flemyng) succeeds in stitching Shifty up with the head honcho, whilst his brother’s found the remainder of his stash… Will he be following Chris home? Or taking a trip down stream? – in a body bag, that is…

A cracking film from first-timer Creevy, Shifty deserves to be on the to-see list for everyone this springtime. The director’s certainly picked up a thing or two with his previous work in the industry, especially assisting Matthew Vaughn on Layer Cake it would seem. However, bringing in the buddy-movie elements adds to its appeal more than its predecessors that it’s bound to draw comparisons with.

Drugs might appear to be at the forefront of this tale, but it’s friendship that’s truly at the heart of it. You’ve only got to see the scene on the playground with the pair ‘larking’ about to know that it’s more than just another tale about the trouble with London. You can’t help but smile at the “mates” as they, almost obsessively, refer to one another; the performances from Mays (it’s nice to see him afforded a central role for once) and Ahmed seem completely genuine, and dappy Malik (Jason Maza), although short-lived, makes the best of his time on the screen.

Shifty ain’t just another grim depiction of the seedy underbelly of our capital – I think we could all do without that, thanks – this is about sticking together through the good and the bad. That’s just what the film provides a bit of nastiness, but with a few laughs (stuffed cat, or two, anyone?) to keep us all sane… Before we totally despair of the world. I’m even starting to get more hopeful about British cinema…
Reviewer: Hannah Tough

 

This review has been viewed 2166 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: