Directed by Naeem Mahmood
Co-Director Ash Mahmood Written by Paul Danquah, Ash Mahmood and Naeem Mahmood Starring Melissa Latouche, Tom Bott, Paul Chiedozie and Julian Glover
Film review by Hannah Sayer
This exciting and daring urban crime thriller from siblings Naeem and Ash Mahmood is a bold debut feature film from this rising directorial duo. Founders of the production company Trailblazer, the Mahmood’s are known for taking talented, emerging film makers and actors and allowing them to produce highly individual and unique films. Brash Young Turks is a visually accomplished and thrilling piece which is certainly a notable and commendable first feature.
At the opening of the film, we are given a definition of a young turk as being ‘a young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations’. This provides the viewer with an introduction to the main themes of the narrative from the outset; rebellion and the fight against oppression, greed and prejudice. This leads on to a short prologue, where we are introduced to the characters of Terrel, Shaz and Dave as younger teenagers, who subsequently form a strong bond of loyalty when they run away together from Dave’s abusive stepfather. The plot jumps ahead to ten years down the line where the three are now living and working together, who are played by Paul Chiedozie, Kimberley Marren and Charlie MacGechan in undoubtedly fearless, if sometimes exaggerated, performances. The main character Mia, played by Melissa Latouche, is then introduced into the narrative; a lonely sixteen year old who has lived in children’s homes her whole life. When she meets Terrel and they fall in love, him and his friends help Mia to escape from the home where she is being abused by the staff. Twists and turns along the way follow Mia as she tries to manoeuvre her way through the trials and tribulations of life and love.
The film seems to lose its sense of narrative direction once Mia’s storyline takes control of the main plot, as there are too many interweaving storylines coexisting. This is an underlying issue with the film, as many storylines are not explored enough to fully make an impact, for example the criminal episodes that take place throughout. However, this complexity enables the Mahmood’s to link this disjointed and unusual narrative to its vibrant and rich cinematography. The visually daring nature of how urban London is displayed allows for the mayhem being depicted in its intertwining stories to be even further realised on screen.
With an ending that satisfies, yet doesn’t exactly surprise or shock, Brash Young Turks is a genre defying film that’s structure and visuals represent the youth and excitement of urban London today.