Wild Bill Reviews
"Wild" Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles) has just been released from prison. He heads back to his home where he finds that his partner has abandoned his children in his absence, leaving his 15 year old son Dean (Will Poulter) and 11 year old Jimmy (Sammy Williams) fending for themselves. When there is a threat of them being taken into care, Bill reluctantly decides to stick around but his youngest has got involved in drug dealing, dragging Bill back into the life he's been trying to avoid.
I'll be honest in my judgement of this film beforehand; I was expecting another attempt at ripping off Guy Ritchie and the success of his film's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch". I'm happy to say that wasn't the case here. Sure, this film possesses a similar gritty feel and similar touches of humour but Fletcher has crafted a very personal film that has an appeal of it's own. This doesn't follow the conventions of the British crime flick but delivers a touching and heartfelt family drama. It also pays homage to the classic western in a very understated and clever way; apart from the title itself, the main character of Bill has a tattoo of a Sheriff badge on his chest; he refuses to be run out of town and stares down the local nasties - climaxing in a bar room (saloon) showdown where it becomes apparent why he has received his moniker. All the elements are here and writer/director Fletcher does well in managing them with a subtlety without losing track of the job at hand. Despite the downbeat, and sometimes threatening characters and dysfunctional family element, there is a lightness of touch to be found here and the whole cast deliver memorable shows. Ultimately though, it comes to the leading man himself; Charlie Creed-Miles. A lot of people may be unaware of this highly underrated actor's talents but he had previously delivered excellent supporting roles in Gary Oldman's directorial debut "Nil By Mouth" and Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element".
Whether or not this film gets him more work remains to be seen but he's certainly deserving of it and shows impressive range here as a decent hearted father with an underlying protective ferocity.
This is a film that manages to juggle several themes and moods and marks a very successful debut from Dexter Fletcher. I only hope that more of an audience get to see this little gem.
Wild Bill centers around Bill Hayward who we meet upon his release from prison on The Isle of Wight following an eight year stretch for various transgressions in his early life. Bill returns to his home in East London to find that his two young sons have been abandoned by their mother and are now trying to cope on their own whilst avoiding the gaze of social services.
The plot here solid balancing family drama and humor with ease. Character development is the strongest aspect here as we are given enough time to relate to the characters and sympathise with them. These character feel realistic acting the way actual people would in this kind of situation. Seeing the title character embraced his responsibilities as a father is a rewarding experience that not drama can pull off. One minor problem I do have are the gangsters who are two dimensional. The gangster at time just appear when the plots them too, but that's a minor complaint. The acting is solid from every single one of it actors. In particular the young child actor Will Poulter who's deliver a very professional performance few kids his age could even match. His acting is at the same level as the adults and without doubt Poulter has a bright future in his acting career. Also, special praise to Dexter Fletcher who was able to capture the best of the actor chemistry with each other and being able capture the true essence of the story he is telling.
Wild Bill is a great drama that you should see if you have not seen it already. It's well made, offers a rewarding experience, and a great acting from it cast that should not go unnoticed by the general public.
The story of Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles), a prisoner of eight years out on parole, who is returning home, to find out that his wife has left and his 15 and 11 year old sons, Dean (Will Poulter) and Jimmy (Sammy Williams) were living alone - was a touching one. Not sweet touching, but bitterly touching! Dean, the older boy was managing to support his younger brother, but Bill has to stay when social services threatens to put the boys into care discovering that their mother is gone. A bond between Bill and Jimmy quickly develops, but is short-lived when Jimmy gets into some trouble with the drug dealers - old friends of Bill's...
This is a real life drama you can witness from a comfortable chair on a big screen - well written, well acted, well directed... check it out!
Charlie Creed-Miles gets top billing here as "Wild Bill," the former drug-dealing tough guy who has spent the past 8 years under lock and key. Returning home on parole to find his two sons abandoned by their mother, Bill is blackmailed by his eldest, embittered son Dean into sticking around until the threat of being placed into social services has passed. As Bill begins to bond with his younger son Jimmy (Sammy Williams), local drug dealer "T" (Leo Gregory,) digs his claws into both father and son. Many societal issues are addressed in Wild Bill: neglected children, alcoholism, prostitution, teen pregnancy, drug dealing, and the impact of role models on today's youth (or the lack thereof). Yet the film manages to remain far lighter than its weighty material. Thanks in part to the sharp writing by Fletcher and co-writer Danny King; Wild Bill manages to be funny without sacrificing the emotional power that drives the narrative.
Comparing Ben Drew's "Ill Manors," (2012) to Fletcher's "Wild Bill," while both are well-made British dramas, "Bill" possesses an uplifting spirit with vitality and charm-- while "Manors" leaves you reflecting on the unrelenting misery. "Wild Bill" is one of those rare films that possesses energy and vibrancy that manages to keep you rooting for its characters from start to finish. Fletcher's debut will not be an instant hit that propels his name into the spotlight--or recognized by the general public, yet he should be commended for creating a genuinely delightful piece of British social realism laced with charisma and wit. "Wild Bill" is a terrific example of the kind of cutting-edge British cinema that demonstrates big budgets are not necessary in regards to great filmmaking. For audiences, "Wild Bill" is a surprisingly entertaining and well-told story that is far more relevant than most would want to believe.
There's also the plot of the son falling in love with some chick who feels betrayed when she thinks he stole from her. Good bit of drama... but just watch the end.
To make yet another low budgeted cockney based crime drama is a bit like making yet another low budget zombie horror, it's something that has been done and done and done. So to stand out from the pack it really needs to be a sizeable step up from the more average entries. And I'm glad to report that this is. The first time feature film director Dexter Fletcher really has created something that shows the near impossible situation ex-cons face, and not in the more lazily way of gang intimidation to get back into a life of crime, but home and family life too. It also helps that the writing feels like something that was actually worked on rather than scribbled down on a bit of paper during shooting. While the performances are all pretty good, even if a couple of the side characters are a little underwritten. Overall a really quite solid crime drama with more than a few nice touches of comedy, a cool soundtrack, and more than a bit of heart, all set in the backdrop of a harsh London neighbourhood that's constantly changing.