1 Day (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/11/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Penny Woolcock's British hip hop musical is patchy in places and doesn't always work but it earns points for trying something new and is worth seeing for the strong performances from its cast of unknowns.

What's it all about?
Directed by Penny Woolcock (Mischief Night), 1 Day is a British hip hop musical-slash-drama set among the Afro-Caribbean community on the streets of inner-city Birmingham. Dylan Duffus stars as Flash, a low-level drug dealer who gets a shock when his boss Angel (Yohance Watson) gets out of jail early and demands the return of the £500,000 Flash had been holding for him for safe-keeping.

Unfortunately, Flash is £100,000 short, so Angel gives him just 24 hours to come up with the full amount, largely because his own superiors are pressuring him for the money. With the clock ticking, Flash finds himself pursued by the police, a rival gang, his three baby-mothers (Justice, Lady L and Natasha Holness) and his feisty Nan (Monica Ffrench), though help is at hand in the form of young streetwise sidekick Pest (Ohran Whyte).

The Good
Woolcock gets impressive performances from her cast of young unknowns, all of whom were cast from the streets, through an extensive audition process. Duffus and Whyte are particularly good, while Monica Ffrench contributes a scene-stealing turn as Flash's Nan.

The nature of the plot ensures that the film maintains a decent pace, with Woolcock ensuring that the rap set pieces are smoothly incorporated into the action without slowing things down. In addition, the surprising script neatly sidesteps several of the usual cliches (notably in a tell-it-like-it-is lecture delivered by a kindly priest) and gains an extra layer of authenticity from its use of contemporary slang.

The Bad
That said, the film's aggressively noisy, in-your-face style won't appeal to everyone, just as the extensive use of slang will render sections of the film incomprehensible to some viewers. It's also fair to say that not all the rap numbers work, although the scene with two of Flash's baby-mothers (Justice and Lady L) dissing him while he hides out in a dress shop is a definite highlight.

Worth seeing?
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.

Film Trailer

1 Day (15)
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Content updated: 19/08/2018 04:58

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