Sket (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/10/2011

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 83 mins

Stylishly directed, hard-edged British drama with a strong script and superb performances from its young cast, though it's slightly let down by some logic and continuity issues.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Nirpal Bhogal, Sket (which, for the benefit of older readers, is basically street slang for “slag”) is set in East London and stars Aimee Kelly as Kayla, a petite 16 year old from Newcastle who's come to London to live with her sister Tanya (Kate Foster-Barnes) after the death of their mother. However, when Tanya is brutally and randomly murdered by vicious local gangster Trey (Ashley Walters), Kayla vows revenge and seeks the help of a violent, no-nonsense girl gang lead by Danielle (Emma Hartley-Miller).

The Good
The performances are excellent: Aimee Kelly has a striking presence with her heart-breakingly beautiful, innocent looking face and her ever-present red hoodie, while Emma Hartley-Miller has a great line in explosions of violent rage. There's also terrific support from Skins' Lily Loveless (as girl gang member Hannah, who's devoted to Danielle) and from Riann Steele (Treacle Jr) as Shaks, Trey's right-hand woman who's decided she wants out.

Bhogal directs with a strong sense of style throughout and there's a real energy in the fight sequences and chase scenes, particularly the sequence where Trey's henchman comes after Kayla. It's also beautifully shot, with Felix Wiedemann's colour saturated, neon-heavy cinematography creating a London that's at once dream-like and nightmarish.

The Bad
The dialogue is above average for this sort of film or at least, it is as far as the girls are concerned – Ashley Walters' dialogue doesn't get far beyond the standard gangsterisms you'd expect and there's no attempt to deepen or explain his character. Similarly, the film has one or two logic problems (you never see the police, for example and they'd presumably solve the murder in seconds as there's no shortage of DNA evidence) and there is also the occasional glaring continuity error (keep an eye on the magic self-repairing windscreen when the girls smash up a car).

Worth seeing?
While not without flaws Sket is an engaging, well made British drama with enough style and energy to suggest that writer-director Bhogal could be a talent to watch. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 14/12/2017 08:13

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