MOBO Film Review: 'Baseline'
Last night the MOBO team headed to BAFTA, Piccadilly Circus for the press screening for ‘Baseline’, a new gangster film set in the mean streets of East London.
The film follows the rise of Danny (Freddie Connor), the Baseline Club bouncer. Used to breaking up fights, managing drunken kids and working the door, Danny is suddenly plunged deep into an underworld he had tried hard to avoid when he rescues Terry (Jamie Foreman), the club owner and local gang leader, from a hit man.
Danny is promoted to club manager, but only on the condition that he turns a blind eye to the shady goings on both on and off the dance floor. Danny and his girlfriend Jessica (Zoe Tapper) dream of setting up their own club, but Danny’s best friend Paul forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice when he has to choose between loyalty, morality and his own dreams of escape.
Although perhaps not the most original premise for a British gangster film, the comical and poignant screenplay written by Sheraiah Larcher, Freddie Connor, Brendon O’Loughlin allows for the film to move outside of general conventions constructed for the British gangster. Along with an original score and awesome cinematography, in some places the film is able to distinguish itself as a rare treat for British cinema; carrying its audience through a tumultuous journey of violence, love and loyalty.
There are also moments of great acting from Freddie Connor (Danny) and Gordan Alexander (Paul) as their relationship gives the film its thread of human compassion and consciousness. However, at some points the scenes carry for longer than perhaps they should which leaves the narrative hanging in the balance between hard hitting, raw violence and candid portrayals of balancing relationships with friends and lovers.
In general, ‘Baseline’ is a good effort from director Brendon O’Loughlin and it is great to see a British gangster film delve into deeper issues concerning loyalty and morality whilst maintaining credibility as fundamentally, a gangster movie. It also has a great supporting cast including Dexter Fletcher, Jay Brown and Gemma Atkinson.
Scheduled for release in the cinemas on July 2nd and released on DVD on July 12th. Make sure you get to the cinemas or cop the DVD as it is worth the watch!
Written by Vanessa Idika