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Borrowed Time


Stars: Phil Davis, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Juliet Oldfield, Warren Brown, Jumayn Hunter

Director: Jules Bishop

Director Bishop has found a slightly different slant here on the all-too-familiar Brit crime theme of the lives of the disenfranchised, unemployed, tower-block youth of London's poorer quarters, where IQs are sometimes so low they almost reach the gutter these teens skirt so perilously.

Aimlessly drifting into petty thievery, Kevin (Barklem-Biggs) has been ostracised by his single-mum sister (Oldfield) and gazes longingly through the pawnshop window, wanting to redeem a family clock he's hocked in order to get by.

But, of course, Kevin has no money. Offered a job as a drug courier by one of the film's two comic villains, Ninja Nigel (Brown), Kevin is brushed off at the delivery. Penniless and threatened by Ninja Nigel, Kevin ends up attempting to burgle the home of disabled, disreputable old Philip (Davis), who lives in moderate squalor with booze bottles he has glued up and a collection of stuffed animals.

Trapped by a Philip waving an antiquated gun, Kevin volunteers to shop for him to atone for his sins, plundering the old man's supply of ready cash in the process- but regretting it later when he brings his sister's four-year-old (Katie Stephen) to visit.

More or less a comedy with dramatic undertones, the film is quite Pinteresque in its portrayal of the growing relationship between recluse and scallywag, and funny in all the right places. A director (and writer) to watch. And Davis is terrific as the Steptoe-like old curmudgeon.

David Quinlan

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Parkville/BBC Films. Technicolor.
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 09 Sep 2013