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||IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 16 votes
||Release: 11 September 2009 (UK) /
||Director: Darren Flaxstone,
||Stars: Alice Payne, Bernie Hodges, Christian Martin, Earl Virgo, Felicia Pearce, Garry Summers, Ian Rayer-Smith, James Collins, Karen Partridge, Louise Fearnside, Marc Laurent, Oliver Park, Romy Taylor, Tom Bott, Wayne Virgo
||Synopsis: Teenage gang member Cal hides his sexuality from his fellow happy slapping gang members' often futile and violent dislike of anyone who isn't the same as them, be they unsuspecting shoppers, foreign students, gays, etc. Hooking up with a random stranger (Scott), Cal is unaware that this chance meeting will eventually provide him with choices and routes of escape from the tedium of his unambitious and depraved life. When his world collides with Olivier, a French student he rescues from a pointless beating, he encounters a lifestyle that presents as many new experiences as it does obstacles. Written by christian martin
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Watch Shank - Alternative Versions.
Shank tells the story of a closeted gang member Cal (Wayne Virgo) who
is deeply in love with his best friend Jonno (Tom Bott). When Cal stops
a senseless beating of college student Olivier (Marc Laurent), Jonno
and his girlfriend Nessa (Alice Payne) seek retribution for what they
perceive as Cal's betrayal. Their anger grows and tragic consequences
ensue when they discover Cal's secret.
Shank is set in a world not usually explored in gay cinema and as a
coming out story there is a lot to be admired here. Unfortunately
certain aspects of this film never work and that should have been
apparent to the film makers early on.
Virgo and Laurent are young, attractive and naked for most of the film
but have no chemistry together. At times the audience roared with
laughter at Laurent's soppy glances, terrible timing and absurd
delivery. Despite what another reviewer has said, this did not "break
the tension". These moments simply drew sharp attention to the
amateurish mistakes made by the director and the problems with the
Marc Laurent's performance as Olivier was dreadful. He might be a
passable actor in his native French, but he lacked the experience and
talent to give a nuanced performance in English. He simply couldn't
convey the necessary combination of vulnerability and strength that
would make him desirable to Cal and the audience. I didn't believe that
the street tough would go for someone like Olivier.
In contrast, the sexual tension between Cal and Jonno was electric. Tom
Bott was completely believable as the sexy and dangerous Jonno. Bott's
performance was flawless, subtly portraying a range of complex
Alice Payne turned in a promising performance as Nessa, and Wayne Virgo
in the lead managed to hold the film together.
Near the end of the film a series of events occur that simply didn't
seem plausible in the grander scope of the movie. We are asked to
believe that a well-educated adult would act in a manner that
contradicts common sense. His decisions are made doubly confusing with
the final (contrived) revelation. There are no realistic consequences
to the any of the character's actions. We are also subjected to some
heavy handed imagery and a few film school clichés.
If you're into queer cinema you will likely find something to enjoy in
this first effort from director Simon Pearce. However, I think most
audiences, gay or straight, won't find the movie nearly as compelling
as it should have been.
Tags for Shank Full Movie
, Bernie Hodges
, Christian Martin
, Earl Virgo
, Felicia Pearce
, Garry Summers
, Ian Rayer-Smith
, James Collins
, Karen Partridge
, Louise Fearnside
, Marc Laurent
, Oliver Park
, Romy Taylor
, Tom Bott
, Wayne Virgo
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