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(film review) - Blue Story

Since getting older, I've not listen to what they call Grime Music from when they started to call it Grime Music.  I hadn't recognised or realised the genre had "evolved".  It used to be Garage which derived from House & Garage and I enjoyed them both, a lot.  I was fine with that specific name for that specific genre of music.  The moment "they" were calling the scene "Urban" and then Grime came into the fold, I felt there was a narrative being forced upon us and I was out.  What happened to calling UK Rap, UK Rap?  There has been a few UK Rappers back in the day, so are we now calling their music Grime, because Grime is UK Rap?  Maybe I'm misunderstanding it all. So, the majority of these people, like a Santan Dave, Rapman and such, I never knew of them as they were becoming rising stars.  I knew a Kano, Dizzee Rascal, Sway, Wiley and Chipmunk, but I never knew who Shiro was or his story.  Not to say I dislike the scene or culture, but I guess I grew out of it once there was that shift and to watch this film, being British and because I'm not a huge fan of the Grime scene, bar a few artists, I wasn't really interested in this movie by this "no name" (to me of course), about guns, gangs and violence.  But having been put onto Shiro's story (and I love storytelling and movies/TV shows etc - still haven't seen it yet, but I will), I was intrigued by the film and decided to go and watch it.  I mean, I loved Top Boy, all 3 seasons of it.  Even more so when the film was actually released and on the opening weekend Twitter blew up, due to violence breaking out at Star City, a leisure and entertainment complex, in Birmingham, involving Asian youths in an isolated incident leading to one of the 3 major cinema chains dropping it's showing of the movie.  I was hoping for better from the cinema chain.  I was hoping better for youths who carry weapons and fight, because I thought that was exactly what this film was about, how nonsensical it all is rather than perpetuating the issue.  And Blue Story did a decent enough job in showing that.  I'll explain.

Blue Story revolves around a life-time "beef" between two South East London Boroughs involving two gangs, The Peckham Boys and The Ghetto Boys.  Timmy (Stephen Odubola) who lives in Deptford, a town in the Borough of Lewisham which houses the Ghetto Boys, goes to school in Peckham and is best friends with Marco (Michael Ward), a young boy who lives in Peckham, a town in the Borough of Southwark which houses the Peckham Boys.  Although Marco is not a part of a gang, he has an Older Brother (Eric Kofi-Abrefa) who is a Peckham Boy.  With neither of the youths or their friends being a part of a gang or understanding the gang life, they all get on with life as adolescent teens doing teen things, but when Timmy bumps into an old Primary School troublemaker Keiran (Khali Best) who instantly has a beef with Marco because he is from Peckham and is on Ghetto Boy territory, the initial interaction is dismantled but is fuelled later on dragging both innocent teenagers into the life of a gang member, resulting in nothing but tragic events, one after another.

To say this movie was not close to home would be an absolute bold-faced lie.  The director, Rapman did an incredible job in capturing young adolescent teens going through teen life doing teen things, talking about teen stuff which made me reflect on my own personal life and what I was doing at that age.  EVERYTHING was close to home, which was soo accurate, it was unnerving.  The Dynamics of the group of kids were spot on.  There is always a hype one, usually a big/fat one, a quiet/shy one and one or two who are in the middle, but they were all friends with great banter and no prejudices.  These moments provided undeniably the best moments of comedy I ultimately relate to and still go through with the same friends I know from that era.
There are moments in the movie that made me remember things that happened to me as a child on the bus, or on the road, people asking me "where are you from?" as I am also from the very same areas highlighted in the film and had to also avoid anything gang-related.  Growing up, it was difficult not to slide into gang-life or be caught up in gang-warfare or a casualty because everyone knew someone who was affiliated with a gang, i.e a cousin or brother and this is something that still happens to this day all over the UK and over postal codes.

With that said, I wouldn't say this movie is a masterpiece though, as although the movie did a decent job going into gang culture and slightly touching on reasons as to why teens slip into gang-life, I felt that the movie was missing something.  The movie wasn't poignant enough to stress and possibly beat you over the head that the gang-life and fighting over postal codes is absolute nonsense.  There were a few scenes and moments that touched on it, but in my own personal opinion, not enough to beat these kids over the head to ultimately coerce young youths from participating in gangs, but I could be wrong.  There was a bit at the end, but by that time, I'm not sure the message is being hammered home and is simply flying over their heads.  If Rapman is able to dissuade one or two youths from this life from this movie, then that is something.

The acting was great although the story was a touch predictable and I would have liked Rapman to maybe put a twist into the storytelling, but maybe this is me expecting too much for someone I hope would do a sequel touching on the same themes, but possibly going into drugs and maybe the psychology of it all.  The reasons why these youths are in gangs or seemingly allowed to roam the streets, where are these guns coming from and how disconnected these youths are just like how disconnected society is.

I really enjoyed this movie, although, somewhat a musical which threw me at first, but I would definitely like more, hopefully Rapman has more up his sleeve.


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