best UK prison drama since 2010
, 03 Oct 2012
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
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Heres a persuasive, extremely well acted prison drama. Its better than recent efforts Screwed and Offender for starters. Unfortunately in story terms it is hugely let down by a climatic story revelation that is so unnecessary it throws away everything that has gone before. Its a shame because Ghosted has so much much going for it than said rival UK productions. Jack (JOHN LYNCH SOME MOTHERS SON) is an old lag whose sentence is coming to an end. For reasons of his own, he dreads the day he will be freed. Paul, played by the ubiquitous Martin Compston (PIMP) is the young inmate Jack takes under his wing after ward psycho, Clay makes a beeline for him. Clay wants Paul to help out with his drug ring and maybe more. Its a dark battle for the soul as Paul naively sets out taking the safer route by accepting the false protection offered by Clay and his cronies. Events clarify Pauls situation and its not too long before some particularly nasty goings on happen that the Prison Officers step in. Jack requests that Paul move to his cell and a firm friendship is forged. This isnt a British Kiss Of The Spider Woman though. This is a film about missed opportunities and surrogate family bonds that are forged in prison. It sets its stall out in Scum Street and for the most part turns its various cliches and staples to its advantage. Making an original prison movie is a tall order but throwing in one of the most jaw dropping plot turn to make it stand out derails this near excellent effort. No plot spoiler here though. Le Prophet managed despite some very strange additions to the porridge.
Ghosted has a particularly strong cast, amongst which is the very reliable Neil Maskell (KILL LIST) as Clays mouthy oppo, veteran Art Malik (TRUE LIES) who also produces, as Jacks Islamic confident and David Schofield (F) as the head screw, who runs the ward with a iron rod. Familiar faces from independent flicks like Simon Phillips (UFO) and Peter Barrett (THE RISE AND FALL OF A WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN) pop up in smaller roles. Best of all is Holby Citys Hugh Quarshie who stretches a little a long way as a Caribbean waiting for Clay to put a foot wrong. John Lynch and Martin Compston are nothing less that compelling in the lead roles and Craig Parkinson is really really creepy and odious in a thankless role. Whenever the tables turn and the balance of power wobbles on the wing his cold sweaty fear is palpable. There are rare moments of lightness in Ghosted, we only escape from the prison via some home movie memories and a sole flashback. The sky is never glimpsed and the claustrophobic setting ramps the tension up.
6 out of 10 - A near perfect piece of prison set story telling bolstered by some great acting from a fine cast and good direction. The last ten minutes though throw much of the effort away on a ridiculous turn of events. Youll spit. Its that bad.
** brit pic. wordpress. com **
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