London Film Festival 2012 – day six: Wasteland
Saturday 20th October, 8.45pm – Hackney Picturehouse
Described in the London Film Festival programme as a ‘crime caper that avoids the clichés of the genre’, Brit thriller Wasteland promises to step outside of the door marked ‘convention’ and present to us a thriller with a little bit more edge. During a police interview with DI West (Timothy Spall), a bloodied and beaten Harvey Denton (Luke Treadaway) attempts to explain the events that led him to the present moment.
Set in the poor suburbs of a Yorkshire town, Harvey has just completed a short stint inside and is determined to bring the man who put him there to justice. After recruiting his three best mates Charlie (Gerard Kearns), Dempsey (Iwan Rheon) and Dodd (Matthew Lewis), the foursome begin to hatch a plan to give notorious gangster Steven Roper (Neil Maskell) his eventual comeuppance. During all of this, Harvey has a relationship to keep sweet with blonde bombshell Nicola (Vanessa Kirkby) who is worried about her suggestible boyfriend.
What gives Wasteland its legs is its very experienced cast. Each a regular on the small and big screen, every character gives an equally strong performance throughout and allows for the chemistry to flow effortlessly. A narrative that begins at the end, it is also just as gripping. With more experience on the stage, recently playing the lead in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, this is Treadway’s first time taking the reigns of a feature film. It is a joy to see such a young actor be at ease with such a challenging role as this.
Although the film doesn’t quite live up to its claim of ‘avoiding all clichés’ with a few predictable plot turns during the last quarter, Wasteland relies on portraying a believable group of mates that are loyal enough to stick together through whatever comes – and it surely delivers that. All four young men have most of their acting careers ahead of them and all are going in the right direction. Wasteland is gritty, enthralling and best of all, gripping right through until the last frame.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival
Watch the trailer for Wasteland here: