If it's crap ... We'll tell you
This is just a sort of short review on the movie NEDs, which I saw last night.
NEDs is, in short a coming-of-age story of a smart youngster in Glasgow. Directed and written by Peter Mullan, an actor turned-director known for playing roles such as Syd in Children of Men and Swanney in Trainspotting, tells the story of John McGill (played by Gregg Forrest and Conor McCarron respectively) as he grows up around the different people of 1970s Glasgow.
Most prevalent of these different people in the movie are the NEDs, or 'Non-educated delinquents' in the language of the school system. Now, this movie could have been condemning of them, or it could have gone the other way. But it didn't. It portrayed pretty much everything with as much raw realism as was appropriate, and even the pretty much constant swearing (by swearing I mean things like 'fuck this or this fucking whatever', and people calling each other cunts from the the start), didn't seem to detract from the feeling of rawness in the movie at all. From the NEDs' behaviour in school to that in and around their own and other gangs, Mullan and the great cast of actors get the script and performances spot-on.
The result of this collaboration is a very dark mood, and a tense atmosphere throughout. Also, the whole 70s thing isn't overplayed at all, whilst still being very prominent in the film at the same time. However, as much as I've praised this movie, it does also have a few downfalls. Firstly, towards the end, the film seems to unnecessarily take longer than it should to reach its conclusion. Not too long to where it takes you out of the movie or anything, but it definitely could have been shortened by about 10 or 15 minutes. Also, around the last 20 minutes of the film, it gets a little weaker as the movie's spark starts to die out. Then, after the spark has died out, and the movie should have finished, it finally stumbles uncertainly to the end. I'm not saying it was a bad conclusion or anything, but it definitely could have come sooner.
NEDS is a powerful film, with great performances all-round and a brilliant script. But, the violence or the frequent swearing may put off some people, and I'd also advise to beware that this is not a happy movie at all. While I have heard that there is some black comedy is this, (and come to think of it I think I can remember that now) this film will stay with you after you watch it. It is an almost-excessively dark film, yet hard-hitting and relevant to today. I give this film a good low full price. A good full price because it's definitely worth watching or buying, but low because of the faults detailed in the review.