Original Gangster is the fable-like portrayal of London’s underworld, directed by Savvas D Michael, chronicling an orphan’s career as an outlaw. The British gangster movie explores the intricate net of loyalties within the criminal classes, and considers what it means to be born into crime. The action is a succession of far-fetched scenarios, which become quite entertaining if the viewer suspends disbelief.
Young Castor (Alex Mills) is orphaned when a gang of thugs murder his parents. One of the killers, Milo (Ian Reddington), decides to spare the boy’s life, and he survives in the streets in a semi-feral state. soon resorting to crime to stay afloat. Years later, when he gets into trouble after stealing from a drug dealer and a man is sent to kill him, he comes face to face once more with his saviour. Milo sees Castor’s potential and decides to help him along the criminal path. The grateful Castor follows instructions unquestioningly, but when he meets big boss Jean-Baptiste Philippe (Steve Guttenberg), things begin to get more complicated.
Creative and playful, the movie’s graphic novel feel makes it quirky, but it also leaves many characters in a two-dimensional state and prevents them from developing much over the course of the story. The performances are often overdone and too theatrical, and the story and its developments are too unrealistic to elicit sympathy. Original Gangster is reminiscent of Guy Ritchie’s movies, but lacks the sleekness and effortlessness. Nevertheless, it does have its effective moments and promises interesting future work by writer/director Michael.
Original Gangster is released digitally on demand on 5th April 2021.
Watch the trailer for Original Gangster here: