Rob Brown's feature film debut is an interesting character piece and is well worth viewing. Unfortunately it falls short in supplying a real slap in the face to viewers considering the main character's past and the central issue (a life after being a child soldier). This topic has so much meat its almost too huge a cinematic goldmine to thoroughly investigate in the 80 minutes supplied in this version of events. It should be a breathtaking film in all aspects, however it occasionally lets itself down by falling into clichés and fails to surprise or shock, more often than one would like. It has a nice central performance by Roger Nsengiyumva especially when paired with his female romantic lead (Rosie Day), their chemistry has a certain allure and is well filmed, the drama and comedy invoked in the scenes between these two characters create a likability in the film that is undeniable. Some of the more violent and threatening sequences are also well handled and leave the viewer on edge, wanting more, which is sometimes where I was left disappointed as all the violence comes in bursts. An example of this is the tunnel sequence (Which supplies the central and most violent conflict) was sub-par and poorly directed for my tastes. I was impressed with the direction in large sections and upset with it in other portions, this unevenness is the only real giveaway that it is a first timer directing (maybe the budget constraints as well). I feel that good things could await Rob Brown as a director (less as a writer) and also the young central actors (less so the supporting male youngsters, who i thought could have used more direction and coaching on the more drama heavy and dialog ridden sections) Overall definitely worth a look 6/10
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An African former child soldier now living in London is forced to confront his violent past.
October 28, 2020