In this riveting poem, friends become enemies, and violence has consequences.
In my time travels, I’ve come across many African-American dramas about violence in the ghettos like John Singleton’s “Boyz n The Hood” or The Hughes Brothers’ “Menace II Society.” And in the present era, I’m seeing a Black British drama called “Blue Story,” which is set in London, and depicts the Peckham Boys and the Ghetto Boys in their own war.
It was directed by Rapman, who based this film on both his YouTube series from 2014, and his experiences growing up in Deptford and going to school in Peckham. I’m sure most of you, like myself, haven’t heard about this rapper, but he adds a poetic beat to the narrative about friends becoming enemies and how violence in the streets becomes chaotic and sad. At this point, he’s the British Spike Lee and John Singleton.
Timmy (Stephen Odubola) is on the right side of the tracks, while Marco (Michael Ward) is on the wrong side. Their high school argument about the difference between right and wrong sets them on their separate ways. Timmy begins a healthy relationship with the lovely girl Leah (Karla-Simone Spence), who has the potential to be a singing star, because of her voice. Unfortunately, because of Marco’s dark path, their romantic tale doesn’t last very long.
Three years later, after surviving Marco’s gang attack, Timmy vows revenge on them for killing his love. Marco feels remorseful about his gang taking her life, and how his brother Switcher (Eric Kofi-Abrefa) became a paraplegic after surviving an attack. Just goes to show that violence always has consequences, and Rapman does a brilliant job at representing this narrative.
I see a future in these two actors Stephen Odubola and Michael Ward, because they both deliver remarkable performances as friends-turned-enemies from opposite sides of the track. Their emotions are sincere, their dialogue is open-minded, and their introductions are fresh. Karla-Simone Spence offers a sweet side in the first half of the movie, while Eric Kofi-Abrefa adds some emotional weight in the second half.
Too much can go on in the story, and I’ve never seen the YouTube series, so I can’t compare or contrast. But what I can do is praise the film version for its ability to live up to the classics and for giving out messages about how gangs can destroy lives in various ways. They think they can solve their problems with F bombs, knives, guns, gas, fire, and beatings; but what do they really solve? Nothing.
“Blue Story” is a sad, poetic, and deeply affectionate film with new faces, real-life messages, and powerful emotions.
Available on Amazon Prime