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: Borrowed Time
We all have our favourite movie entrances – Orson Welles lurking in the shadows, Omar Sharif emerging from the shimmering desert...but try this one. Coming down the stairs in a Stannah stairlift, brandishing an antique blunderbuss. This is how we meet one half of the odd couple at the centre of Jules Bishop’s 'Borrowed Time'.
Kevin (Theo Barklem-Biggs) is hapless and hopeless: he’s no money, no job and a track record of stealing, even from his family. He naively gets involved with local hard man, “Ninja” Nigel (Warren Brown), who pursues him in his inimitable style to recover a debt. To re-pay it, Kevin tries to burgle the house of an elderly pensioner, Philip (Phil Davis) but soon finds he’s bitten off more than he can chew. It’s the unpromising start to an unlikely friendship.
It is, of course, Davis who makes that entrance. Unexpected and incongruous at the same time, its blend of the dramatic and the humorous is typical of this bittersweet comedy which starts out in a similar vein to some of the urban youth films of recent years, but is actually more optimistic, generous and genuinely funny.
Borrowed Time is essentially about second chances, both for the characters and the attitudes of the viewers. Kevin and Philip are both given another shot at life as a result of their friendship – Kevin the chance to redeem himself with his feisty sister Becky (Juliet Oldfield) and Philip the opportunity to break out of a lonely life that’s previously been blighted by his wife’s death and alcoholism.
For the audience, our views of Kevin and his mates are constantly challenged. We initially see them as yet another bunch of ASBO kids in hoodies, and they’re more than capable of causing mayhem and worse, but there’s more to them than that. They genuinely care about their friend and try to help - albeit it in a misguided way – when he gets into trouble. The problem is, they just have too much time on their hands …….
Jules Bishop has assembled a terrific cast and given them characters to relish. Phil Davis is the star turn as the eccentric Philip, whose only company is a house full of stuffed animals. In close up, you can see that he’s a touch too young for the part, but his performance is easily good enough to override that. He’s cantankerous yet touching at the same time – and he has a great Dirty Harry running gag, but with one rather crucial dialogue change!
The younger members of the cast all more than hold their own, especially Theo Barklem-Biggs, who has exactly the right hang-dog expression as the gormless Kevin, while Juliet Oldfield’s Becky may look slight, but has enough strength for both herself and her brother. And little Ted Cozzolino as her four year old, Grant, is a total scene stealer.
Filmed in just 18 days in some of London’s less flattering locations, Borrowed Time follows the British tradition of gritty realism – graffiti strewn walls, abandoned cars, sink estates – but mixes it with an equal portion of comedy. It also feels like it’s taken a leaf out of Mike Leigh’s improvisation manual, even though it didn’t: such a short shoot didn’t allow for anything so time-consuming.
Its messages about friendship and second chances aside, Borrowed Time also has something to say about film makers and their audiences. Low-budget can mean popular. True, the film isn’t exactly family fodder, but its optimistic yet realistic tone, humour and natural performances mean it should appeal to a wide audience. Let’s hope it gets one.
Copyright © Britflicks ltd - John Baker | Website Design - Kai Motta | Website Developer - Christian Abbott
Privacy & Cookies