Directed by: Alex Pillai | 85 minutes | action, drama | Actors: Ashley Chin, Ashley Madekwe, Jason Maza, Anna Nightingale, Michael Maris, Letitia Wright, Shanika Warren-Markland, Natasha Sparkes, David Harewood, Arnold Oceng, Frank Harper, Sebastian Street
A little respect for Tyson (Ashley Chin) is in order. Because although he has his criminal activities that he is involved in, there is an identifiable reason for this in his case. Raised in an extremely difficult environment (his mother left him and on top of that left him with a high debt) he has to fight to keep his head and that of his 15-year-old sister Nyla (Letitia Wright) above water. He tries to achieve this by regularly raiding rich people along with a number of his friends. The loot is distributed fairly and he uses it to pay off his debts. After this has largely been successful, Tyson actually wants to stop his criminal existence and do something with his creative talents. Supported by the handsome Tia (Ashley Madekwe), whom he met through a good friend, Davina, he tries to be admitted to university and to distance himself from his bad life. Something easier said than done.
With this story, “Victim” leans a bit towards the mafia genre at first, but it is still just a touch of this genre that is incorporated into the film. The focus is mostly on the personal development that young Tyson (around 20 years old) goes through in his attempt to get his life in order. And while the characters are not provided with too much depth, in Tyson’s case it is still enough to bond with him. The same cannot really be said of the other characters. Tyson’s group of friends often consists of superficial young people about whom we as viewers get little background information. In particular, the role of Davina (Anna Nightingale), who is a bit of the leader of the bunch, is not very well developed and her behavior makes you frown at times. The same also applies to a number of plot twists that “Victim” takes towards the end. Some of these twists are a little abrupt and sometimes want to fall on your roof quite raw at times.
Yet despite these flaws, “Victim” is ultimately a great film, which sometimes even has something touching. The film may lean heavily on Tyson’s character for lack of convincing supporting roles and the romance that slowly but surely blossoms between him and Tia, in the case of “Victim” there is nothing wrong with this. The underlying idea, which focuses on the question of when you are a victim, is also an interesting one. Above all, however, “Victim” is a film that simply looks away. One where certainly no miracles are to be expected, but which has enough to offer to be labeled as a great snack.