Despite its down-to-earth feel, Twenty8k fails to hit the nail on the head with any innovation, which means the transformation for Shameless writers Paul Abbott and Jimmy Dowdall from TV screen to big screen has not really cut it. The film however does exhibit some great up-and-coming talent, and with the addition of a few twists and turns, all is not lost.
The storyline follows Deeva Jani (Parminder Nagra, Bend It Like Beckham), a successful Paris-based fashion executive who abruptly returns home to the UK after learning of her teenage brother’s arrest. Vipon (newcomer Sebastian Nanena) has been charged with the fatal shooting of a gang member in east London. Determined to prove her brother’s innocence, Deeva finds herself faced with a seemingly impossible task, up against political corruption, media manipulation and power struggles all way beyond east London’s streets, right to the heart of the government.
In a bid to clean up London’s streets before the commanding presence of the London Olympics 2012 arrives, the police seem intent on cracking down on gang crime. Twenty8k draws an accurate picture of the harsh reality that families like Deeva and Vipon’s faced when caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After teaming up with Clint (Jonas Armstrong, Robin Hood), an ex-gang member and now youth worker, Deeva turns detective in a bid to save her family’s reputation and her brother from a life sentence.
With a supporting cast including Kaya Scodelario (Skins), Gregg Chillin (220.127.116.11 and Being Human), and Michael Socha (This is England and Being Human), Twenty8k does showcase some raw British talent. Regardless of her previous film role as a football-mad girl in Bend It Like Beckham, Nagra has matured considerably and plays the fashion executive with ease – bringing suspense to the film however, is a little to be desired.
Unfortunately the cast can only do so much to keep the film afloat, and the predictability of this film builds up more than any anticipation or tension does. Directors David Kew and Neil Thompson have brought the Shameless writers work to the big screen but fail to make impact. Even the music doesn’t really make contact with the Twenty8k except to remind the audience of its east London, grimy location.
On the scale of things, Twenty8k is just about OK.
Twenty8k is released on DVD and BluRay on 1st October 2012.
Watch the trailer for Twenty8k here: