BREAK THE VIOLENCE CYCLE
, 18 Oct 2012
Eat the rich! That seems to be one of the messages Victim broadcasts. A robin-hood gang led by Tyson (ASHLEY CHIN ANUVAHOOD) set up rich male clubbers by fixing them up with complicit girls. On arrival at the marks house, the gang break in and raid their safes for all their goodies. So far so entertaining. What is difficult to follow is how were meant to accept that this is OK because our hero is essentially a good man, who does bad things. Left to bring up his younger sister, Nyla (LETITIA WRIGHT TOP BOY) when he was 16 and she was 11 by a gambling, drunk of a mother, the only way for Tyson to make ends meet is by masterminding ever more risky smash and grabs against the citys monied. Hes almost settled his mothers huge gambling debt through his life of crime and can embark on a crime free life so he can concentrate his efforts on the good start in life thats so far eluded him. So that makes stealing money off the hardworking rich OK. I guess so. Anyway, its only a film
Onto the good points.
Like life itself, there is no black and white. Bad people do good things too and theres no end of conflict or even plot in Victims slender running time. On top of Tysons story arc, we have Tia (ASHLEY MADEKWE), rich cousin to Davina (ANNA NIGHTENGALE) who is a member of Tysons gang. Tia has just begun university, leaving a distraught posh boyfriend behind. She has a positive influence on Tyson, although this is probably the least convincing part, due to script shortfalls, and they begin a courtship. The jealous Davina sets in motion a chain of events that prove disastrous for a number of the crew. Add into the mix the reappearance of Tysons mum (JENNIE JULES THE MAN INSIDE) and the day to day madness at school for Nyla and the class outcast, Victor (JORDY MEYA).
The film is highly ambitious in the sheer number of characters the plot-line juggles. Its quite understandable that several characters never get fleshed out. We are rushed through a violent relationship,gang member Jason Maza (ANUVAHOOD) has with his older brother (NICK NEVERN THE SWEENEY MOVIE). We havent even touched up Michael Maris (ANUVAHOOD) Jason yet, the bad breed of the gang. That the writers pull this together into a coherent story for the most part is a credit to them. But it all comes undone with an ending which comes out of left field yet doesnt work. We really want to know what happens next and instead of coming to a head the film stops abruptly. I appreciate the effective and heartfelt poem that is read out over the ending montage sequence but some parts of what we are seeing just seem to be added in because they were from unfinished parts of the story line. Maybe Victim was originally envisioned as a television series because we seem to be getting started in some areas and rushing to an ending for others. For instance, Tysons mothers fate is left hanging, a simmering feud between Jason and a rival (RITCHIE CAMPBELL ANUVAHOOD) never gets going, will Victor ever escape bully Jaydens (ARNOLD OCENG) shadow, where does the shocking ending leave our anti-hero?
There is too much left unresolved for this not to have a sequel. They have assembled an interesting universe with that rare thing in this genre, heart. You want this bad boy to leave his life of crime behind. You want Nyla to succeed at school, you dont want Victor to travel down the road that so many young people do in his situation. Its about breaking the cycle of violence but it has no answers. If there is an answer its that crime is the only way but dont get too greedy.
6 out of 10 Well acted, densely plotted, unfinished crime drama. Better than the average but boy does it need a sequel to wrap up some intriging characters fates.
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