100 Streets

 

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A cross-section of London lives reflecting the capital today.

 
100 Streets

Idris in London

  

A voice-over at the start of this London-set movie comments on human existence being all about waiting except for those brief moments of change which can come to define a person's life. However, 100 Streets proves less pointed and less memorable than this might lead us to expect as it presents us with three intertwined tales. One of these features a former rugby star, Max Moore (Idris Elba), whose past success has secured a rich life-style for him with his wife Emily (Gemma Arterton) and their two young children. But Emily has a lover, Jake (Tom Cullen), and the marriage has become fragile as Max seeks support in drink and drugs. Another couple (Charlie Creed-Miles and Kierston Wareing) live modestly and their only major problem is that they are childless and are considering adoption. But then the husband, a taxi driver, is involved in a fatal accident and struggles to overcome his unjustified sense of guilt. Finally, there's Kingsley (Franz Drameh), a black youth with acting ambitions who may find it difficult to break with criminal associates but is given encouragement by an elderly actor, Terence (Ken Stott).

 

Shot in colour and 'Scope with a pleasing use of less obvious London locations, 100 Streets as directed by Jim O'Hanlon whose previous work was for television is made with assured professionalism. It is the screenplay by Leon F. Butler that prevents it from amounting to much. The taxi driver's story in particular needs more fleshing out, but by continually moving throughout the films 93 minutes from one set of characters to another the writing never provides the depth needed to make us feel for these people. Although the film is watchable enough for much of the time as one would expect with this cast, there is a sense all the time of it skimming the surface. It is in keeping with the writing as a whole that the characters of Max and Jake are never drawn with sufficient detail for us to care one way or another which of them will succeed in gaining Emily's lasting commitment.

 

If for much of the film's length we feel that it lacks real impact, this is felt even more strongly when two of the narrative threads reach a potentially violent climax at the same time. What happens here is that the two climaxes are intercut, a decision that robs both of them of the power that ought to be present. The film is not an out-and-out disaster, but, despite being a work that won the backing of Idris Elba (it got off the ground when he committed himself to a lead role and he shares a credit as an executive producer), the fact is that nothing on the screen really explains that degree of support.

 

MANSEL STIMPSON

 

Cast: Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Tom Cullen, Franz Drameh, Charlie Creed-Miles, Kierston Wareing, Ken Stott.

 

Dir Jim O'Hanlon, Pro Pippa Cross, Leon F. Butler, Idris Elba and Ros Hubbard, Screenplay Leon F. Butler, Ph Philipp Blaubach, Pro Des Ricky Eyres, Ed Mark Eckersley and Chris Gill, Music Paul Saunderson, Costumes Miss Molly.

 

Kreo Films/Crossday Productions/West Fiction Films/Umedia-Vertigo Films.
93 mins. UK. 2016. Rel: 11 November 2016. Cert. 15.