New Town Original (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/04/2005

One out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Disappointing drama, let down by a poor script and some appalling acting - a shame, given the decent premise and the undeniable achievement of getting it onto the screen in the first place.

New Town Original represents a genuine achievement in at least one respect - it was produced, filmed and distributed completely independently of the British film industry…by three Essex boys.

Badly Written Script And Diabolical Acting

Unfortunately the film itself doesn’t really justify the amount of energy and support that has gone into it - despite a decent premise and some impressive location work, it’s let down by a badly written script and some truly appalling acting.

The film stars Elliot Jordan, a good-looking actor who looks like the missing link between Jude Law and Spencer from EastEnders. He plays Mick, a young professional in Basildon (no sleeping at the back there) who spends his free time hanging out with his mates at the local leisure centre (No! Wait! Come back! Etc.).

One night he pulls an attractive girl (Katharine Peachey) who turns out to be the ex-girlfriend of a local psycho (Paul McNeilly). Mick shags her anyway, but then becomes paranoid that the psycho is out to get him. He turns to his friends, his co-workers, his doctor and even his mum for advice but none of them are much use, particularly his supposed best friend, Johnno (Nathan Thomas), who turns out to be a bit of a bastard.

Appealing Premise Falls Flat In Practice

The idea of falling for the wrong girl despite the threat of violence is an undeniably appealing premise and one that would have worked just as well if had been set in a school. Unfortunately, the script fails to get to grips with the story and the dialogue is flat and unrealistic throughout. Interesting angles are raised (for example, Mick’s doctor puts him on Prozac) but never explored or taken to their logical conclusion. Similarly, the script deflates tension by opting to present other points of view instead of fully exploiting Mick’s increasing paranoia.

Jordan may be a pretty-boy but he has all the acting talent of a brick wall - there are long scenes where all he does is stare blankly into space. He also has an extremely irritating way of delivering his lines, to the point where you’re actually willing the psycho to show up and kick him around a bit.

Peachey does marginally better in her role, but it’s hard to believe that someone like her could even be friends with McNeilly’s psycho, let alone go out with him. The supporting actors come off best, particularly Nathan Thomas, who’s sleazily believable as Johnno and Jamie Palmer as Mick’s amusing co-worker.

In short, it’s a shame that New Town Original is so disappointing, because independent endeavours such as this ought to be encouraged. If you’re feeling charitable, by all means check it out, but if it’s gritty urban drama and realism you’re after then go and see the excellent Bullet Boy instead.

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 07:01

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