1 Day (2009)
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'1 DAY' is the first ever British hip-hop musical and a very, very bad day in the life of hustler, Flash. Entirely street cast and featuring original hip-hop and grime tracks from young rappers in Birmingham, this hard hitting film gets under the skin of guns, gangs and life on road.
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Critic Reviews for 1 Day
This doesn't quite manage to be either a gritty musical or a convincing thriller, although the atmosphere is well-captured.
You could call this a 'hip-hopera', a mix of filmmaking and social work, or a shot in the arm for British independent cinema. Just don't call it Bugsy Malone with real bullets.
It's propulsive stuff that credibly mixes social realism with bursts of musical energy. Just occasionally, though, the movie falls for the gangland glamour - loving shots of guns, cars and posturing bad boys - it claims to despise.
By turns gloomy, frenzied, downbeat and violently melodramatic, Penny Woolcock's gang grime musical throbs intermittently with energy.
Woolcock doesn't strictly glamourise this guns-'n'-babymothers lifestyle, but her shortcuts to gritty pathos are nearly as questionable.
Woolcock has overcome all odds to produce one of the best British flicks since This Is England.
Undoubtedly well acted and shot, and with a rip-roaring hip-hop score, it's impressively non-moralistic, just showing us how it is. That may be why Birmingham's cinemas have refused to show it.
The film has a cheeky comic streak that offsets all the streetwise grandstanding.
Woolcock deserves praise for ambition, but this tumbles awkwardly into some netherworld between streetwise musical and social-conscience crime chronicle.
This moral-less film is thoroughly depressing. Don't give it the time of day, blood.
A gangsta farrago, convincing neither as street-tough crime drama nor soul-motorised rap show. The performers go through the motions, and emotions, as if reading cue cards.
The street patois is at times incomprehensible, the plot is a joke and the music is absurdly aggressive.
1 Day is something of a mixed bag but it's ultimately worth seeing for the energy and commitment of its fired-up cast of unknowns.
The performances are quality and the rapping, written and performed by the cast, is SUPERB - if anything, the film could have done with a lot more of it.
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