Welcome to Britflicks, a site dedicated to supporting the British film industry. Here you will find all the latest British film news, releases, trailers and interviews as well as some great competitions prizes.
British Film Review – Tooting Broadway Review By Joanna Ebuwa
This 2013 urban crime feature written by Tikiri Hulugalle and directed by Devanand Shanmugam sets the story in Tooting, South London where the next generation of the migrant Sri Lankan Tamil population face struggles against a new war. Unlike the genocide of their home country, the fear of the Tamil gangs presented a new problem.
The main protagonist Arun (Nav Sidhu) is a disillusioned former member of the Wolf Pack, now returned to Tooting four years after going to Cambridge and his father’s death. Arun arrives 24 hours before the scheduled Tamil protests at the Houses of Parliament in hopes of intercepting his younger brother Ruthi (Kabelan Verlkumar) from joining in a series of violent actions with his gang after the murder of Arun’s ex girlfriend Kayal by two members of a rival Afro-Caribbean gang. Arun is now working undercover for police Officer Marcus (Oliver Cotton) and has been given 24 hours grace to convince Ruthi not to engage with his plans. Arun comes home and is reunited with former girlfriend Kate (Elizabeth Henstridge). Kate, like Arun, is now at a turning point in her life and about to get married but is still connected to Arun. The chemistry between these two characters adds a sense of hope, loss and frustration in wanting something that seems impossible.
Arun also collides with his old friend and gang leader Karuna (San Shella) who wants to entice Arun to back him in an extreme gang war solution.
These quick-paced events force Arun through an internal war as obligations to home and his Tamil roots prove strong against the need to change and move away from the path to violence. We soon learn that this is a world of mixed opposites – gang leaders heading to elite universities and following the path of peace and gang culture against political agendas. The war may be over but hostilities are still strong through the youths in this world.
This unique story takes the urban crime sub-genre to a new place - Sri Lankan Tamil gang culture. This film is rooted in some truth as the Tamil gangs have garnered the UK government’s interest and takes elements of the real life gang wars between the Tamil and Afro-Caribbean youths in London.
The film has some interesting twists and Arun is surprising as an unreliable protagonist who has not quite picked a side yet, making him potentially the most dangerous card in the deck.
The positive dimensions that give this story weight are that the audience witnesses the difference with these gangs – the war has crossed over the water and into the next generation so the violence is personal and more blood for blood than territory or money. By extension, we see a rich mix of cultures and perspectives so the story never feels one sided for a moment. Secondly, the ageless themes of family and honour provide strong presences for the characters and translate through the scenes. The areas where the film falters are in the script and camera work. Arun’s reversal feels a little too understated at points and the visual clarity between Tooting in the past and present day Tooting is not clear enough for the viewer to register the difference. Nav Sidhu takes on the challenging role of Arun, a young man marred by a violent past that he hurries towards a bright future completely separate from the Tamil Gangs but threatens the sacrificing of his family. Tikiri Hulugalle and Divanand Shanmugam have used the setting of modern London to the very limit in capturing the various dimensions of youth culture but also its hope. Gangs of Tooting Broadway is gritty, current and definitely provides unique first insight into the Tamil culture and different gangs from the cultural perspective.
Copyright © Britflicks ltd - John Baker | Website Design - Kai Motta | Website Developer - Christian Abbott
Privacy & Cookies