Review: ‘South West Nine’

Various types find their lives changed over 24 hours in "South West Nine," a self-consciously hip criss-crosser set in the multiethnic London district of Brixton.

Various types find their lives changed over 24 hours in “South West Nine,” a self-consciously hip criss-crosser set in the multiethnic London district of Brixton. First-time feature director Richard Parry turns in a pro-looking package, but the larky mixture of drugs, money, guns and smart talk is about as fresh as last night’s cappuccino, signaling mild biz in broader arenas.

Main characters who congregate at the Dog Bar are songwriter Freddy (Wil Johnson), also the narrator; Jake (Stuart Laing) and Mitch (Mark Letheren), two lads on the make; yuppie Helen (Orlessa Edwards), a young merchant banker; and barmaid Kat (Amelia Curtis), a rich kid flirting with the squat scene. Helen’s briefcase, containing a valuable diskette, is stolen; Mitch puts his hand in some liquid LSD; Jake does a pills deal with a thug (Frank Harper) to whom he owes money — and everything climaxes at a rave party in a church. Perfs are functional to OK, though Johnson’s squirmingly self-aware narration dampens the comic tone. In brief appearances as a cockney bruiser, Harper wipes the floor with the rest of the cast, especially with Nicola Stapleton as his appalling, tough-as-nails sister.

South West Nine

U.K. - Ireland

Production

A Fruit Salad Films release of a Fruit Salad (U.K.)/Irish Screen (Ireland) production. (International sales: Alibi Films Intl., London.) Produced by Allan Niblo. Executive producers, Renata S. Aly, Marie Louise Queally. Co-producers, Michael Wearing, Nigel Warren-Green. Directed by Richard Parry. Screenplay, Parry, Steve North.

Crew

Camera (color), Graham Fowler; editor, Christine Pancott; music, David Bradnum; music supervisor, Dave Pearce; production designer, Rob Lunn; art director, Adam A. Makin; costume designer, John Krausa. Reviewed at De Lane Lea screening room, London, July 26, 2001. (In Taormina Film Festival.) Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Wil Johnson, Stuart Laing, Mark Letheren, Amelia Curtis, Orlessa Edwards, Nicola Stapleton, Frank Harper.
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