Review: 100 Streets (2016)

100 Streets (2016)

Directed by: Jim O’Hanlon | 89 minutes | drama | Actors: Gemma Arterton, Idris Elba, Tom Cullen, Lorraine Stanley, Kierston Wareing, Ken Stott, Ryan Gage, Franz Drameh, Charlie Creed-Miles, Ashley Thomas, Mark Frost, Kola Bokinni, Emily Wyatt, Tim Treloar, Mark Aiken

Mosaic films follow more or less the same course. In the beginning, there is often a physical proximity that indicates that the lives of the main characters are about to intersect. Usually these connections come to fullness towards the end during the final climax of the story. ‘100 Streets’ is no different in that respect.

The title of the film refers to the area in which the lives of three completely different characters take place. That those 100 streets are in London is presented as characteristic of the story, but in fact has little added value. The three lives are those of Max, a former rugby phenomenon, who has to get used to his life after the sport; Kingsley, a boy from the ghetto and George, a taxi driver, who would like to have children with his wife, but whose life is not always easy. With all three, before seeing the film, an idea can be made in terms of character development.

And therein lies the film’s weakness: its predictability. Not the predictability of the concrete events, but of the abstract line in the story. Of course, a former star is sliding down to a dubious level. Of course the boy outgrows the ghetto. And of course, the middle-class people face everyday challenges as they just try to build a normal life.

That said, George the Taxi Driver’s storyline is the most interesting of the film and also the one that gets the least amount of attention. That’s a shame because it’s the least predictable of the three. Because how do you imagine the “struggle” of the middle class? Normal food for social-realistic dramas, now a small part of a whole, so that the nuance disappears. This nuance also disappears in Max’s story, but in a superlative degree. Max, played by Idris Elba, slips so far in such a short time that it becomes almost unbelievable. The climax, if not anticlimax, of his story is so far-fetched that it undermines the film’s credibility.

The end of ‘100 Streets’ is also the part where the film finally falls through the ice. As a viewer, a lot is asked of your imagination, or naivety. For example, at the end of the story of Kingsley, the boy from the ghetto. The cliché of another bad deed as the price of freedom is adopted here one on one and is (therefore) too predictable. And that criticism also applies to the film as a whole. In order to minimize the clichés, which are clearly present in the stories, such strange and far-fetched excesses have been chosen that a film is created that is not really credible anywhere.

Comments are closed.