Tonight I bring a double feature review. Wow I hear you say, 2 for the price of 1? that sounds great. The movies in question are Kidulthood and Adulthood, a pair of films from the creative talent that is Noel Clarke. “Who?” I hear you say, I have been telling a few folk about Mr Clark and unfortunately when I try and tell people who he is, I can only throw Mickey from Doctor Who into the conversation. However, on the strength of this pair of films, I hope in the future that I can say “Noel Clarke – you know, the guy that wrote Kidulthood.”
Kidulthood is the story of a group of 15 year olds growing up in West London and the experiences they have when they are given the day off school as a result of a tragedy. Its a gritty tale that I am sure reflects urban life in London for youngsters who appear to have nothing else to do than look out for themselves or get into trouble. Lots of testosterone from the guys and raging hormones from the girls. Each member of the group we follow has their own story to tell and we get a very good insight into what their lives are like during the course of just one day.
The cast is a young one as you would expect and it includes the likes of Jaime Winstone (Ray’s very talented daughter) as Becky and Red Madrell as the confused and perhaps naive Alisa. The main character for me though was Trevor (aka Trife) played by Aml Ameen. He is beginning to do quite well for himself and has picked up a part in the upcoming movie Red Tails out early next year. Noel Clarke also stars as Sam whos actions will have tremendous consequences for the whole group.
I was impressed with the movie and knowing that there was a sequel made me want to watch it to see what happened next to the folks in it. The story is compelling and although uncomplicated, I think is a very true depiction of teenage life in a big city in the UK. Directed by Menhaj Huda, it was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and it is warranted. Its a movie I’ve been long waiting to seeing and I am glad I now have. 7/10. Here is the trailer.
So next up we have Adulthood. It is six years on in time and it is the continuing story of Sam, Alisa, and the others from the group we followed in Kidulthood. Once again written by Noel Clarke, he also stars and put himself behind the camera to direct this sequel. A bold move and it was merited.
The film stars most of the cast from the original film with the exception of Jaime Winstone, which was a shame as although we pretty much knew how her character was going to end up, it might have been nice to see an appearance of Becky in the next part of the story. She is mentioned, but unfortunately absent. This part of the story is more about Sam and the consequences of his actions in the previous film. Noel Clarke buts in a blinding performance, but for me Adam Deacon who plays the part of Jay was the star here. Jay has developed from a young teenager into what he believes is a big man and he likes to think that people now respect him although in reality he hasn’t moved on at all in six years.
The acting is just as good in this movie as was in Kidulthood and with a more personal involvement behind the camera with Noel Clarke who makes this film a really gritty drama. Couple that with a terrific story and you have a really good film recipe. I liked Kidulthood, I loved Adulthood. It just seems to have a little more about it, more involved in story and perhaps had much more backing to make the film in the first place following the success of the first movie. I have to give this one an excellent 8.5/10 and recommend that you see both of these films if you get the chance. Its great to see new talent in the UK film industry, and Noel Clarke’s very personal thank you notes at the end of the credits were very nice and I think this man has a great future ahead of him. I really must get around to watching 188.8.131.52, one of his more recent movies. Enjoy this trailer and check out both movies on DVD.