Blue Story, the hard-hitting feature debut from writer and producer Rapman (Andrew Onwubolu), is an adaptation of his hugely successful YouTube series, Shiro’s Story. This merger of rap and filmmaking focuses on violent gang rivalry on the streets of London and the surge of rising knife crime and gun attacks which often end with tragic consequences.
Following the friendship between softly spoken Timmy (Stephen Odubola) and the more streetwise Marco (Micheal Ward), we watch as the boys navigate their days at school, hang out with their mates and have each others’ backs when they are confronted with the rumblings of a SE postcode war between Lewisham and Peckham. Timmy’s anxious mother has moved him out of his old school to one just outside his borough, where she’s hoping he’ll stay away from his old unsavoury gang. Tempers are reignited when their paths cross once again and an unprovoked attack on his new school friend Marco sets off a chain of catastrophic events.
Newcomer Odubola is cast as the shy, reserved character of Timmy, the gentle side of his character brought to the forefront by his deepening romantic relationship with fellow GCSE student Leah (Karla-Simone Spence). Meanwhile, Ward delivers an impressive raw performance as Marco, with an edge of youthful naivety despite continuously being told to toughen up by his kingpin older brother, Switcher (Eric Kofi-Abrefa).
The two of them navigate their way alongside a cast of hugely talented young teens. Their depictions of gang life in these boroughs is as scary to watch on a screen as it must be to really live it, and Rapman is no stranger to this upbringing himself, which only serves to reflect the authenticity of this story. His intermittent rap appearances throughout the feature help move the story along, although apparently not with the intention of glorifying it. A soundtrack provided by acclaimed drill artists like Digga D intensifies the escalating violence, whilst the gritty cinematography leaves you utterly absorbed. It’s a harsh tale to tell, but having secured the backing for release by Paramount Pictures, this passionate new director might be paving his own unique way in a saturated film industry.
Blue Story is released nationwide on 22nd November 2019.
Watch the trailer for Blue Story here: