Saturday, 2 January 2016
Neds (3 Stars)
This film follows the life of a John McGill, a boy in Glasgow, from 1972 to 1977. His age is never explicitly stated, but it seems that he's about 17 at the end of the film.
John McGill is a brilliant, hard-working boy. He's the top of his class when he enters senior school. However, a shadow is hanging over his head. His older brother Benny (who we only see on a few brief occasions in the film) is a notorious gang leader. This makes the teachers suspicious of John, but it also makes the other boys respect him.
After a few years of senior school John's destiny catches up with him. He joins the Car-D gang, which his brother used to lead. From here his life spirals ever downwards and out of control.
Why does he do it? Peer pressure? The film starts with John having everything on his side, but it ends with him having nothing. Maybe Glasgow was a rough city in the 1970's, but that's no excuse for choosing failure over success.
The acting is good, especially Conor McCarron who plays John, but it's a very negative film with barely a ray of hope. I don't like films like that.
Incidentally, I needed to use subtitles while I was watching the film. Several of the characters had Scottish accents that were impossible for me to understand. At first I turned the subtitles on and off, depending on who was speaking, but eventually I gave up and left them on.