Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/empress/public_html/newempressmagazine/wp-content/plugins/blog-linkit/library/base/tag.php on line 119
Birds Eye View Film Festival 2014: Gone Too Far

Birds Eye View Film Festival 2014: Gone Too Far

by Daniel Goodwin on 12/04/2014

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/empress/public_html/newempressmagazine/wp-content/plugins/blog-linkit/library/base/tag.php on line 119


Many films have been made about British youth culture over the last decade but few can be held up as examples of great film-making. Even less are based around London’s African/ Caribbean communities and hardly any portray the youth of today in a positive light. But because of the overabundance, when it came to adapting her award-winning play Gone Too Far from stage to screen, Bola Agbaje switched genres from drama to comedy, attempting to evoke humour from her gritty tale of life on a South London estate.

Agbaje’s tale of frustrated teenager Yemi (Malachi Kirby) forced to bond with his long lost brother Iku (O.C. Ukeje) while struggling to win the heart of local estate girl Armani (Adelayo Adedayo) fails to transcend its dramatic roots to become a comedy, instead coming across as a clumsy and rose-tinted depiction of working class estate life.

A great deal of dramatic substance is lost in the play’s transition from genres and mediums. A fight sequence is played for laughs but feels mishandled given the serious issue of gang violence while discrepancies regarding race relations within the community are lightly addressed in the final act and feel shunted into the background.

The story is breezy, enjoyable and with wonderful characters but feels light on conviction. The lack of profanity is also unrealistic while the sight of youngsters acting stoned in a smoke-filled car despite none of them brandishing a joint feels condescending and makes light of a darkness at the story’s core.

Director Destiny Ekaragha’s interpretation is full of heart but ends up mishandling the material. What could have been a hard-hitting portrayal is substituted for a jape-filled frolic, which presents a reasonably accurate portrayal of working class life in terms of the characters and setting but ultimately fails to tackle the issues at hand in a fitting and credible manner.

Birds Eye View Film Festival 2014 info can be found here

Daniel has awarded Gone Too Far two Torches of Truth


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: