Director: Darragh Carey, Bertrand Destochers
Writer: Rupert Baynham, Darragh Carey, Chi Mai (Screenplay)
Starring: Lily Newmark, Ola Orebiyi, Michael Maloney, Barney Harris, Jaime Winstone, Lee Nicholas Harris
Plot: Wealthy YouTuber Leah chooses shy youth Benji as the subject of her Brixton documentary. They fall for each other, but the desire for edgy footage leads them down a violent path.
Tagline – No Such Thing as a True Story
Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: A Brixton Tale starts as we meet YouTuber Leah (Newmark), as she explores London looking for the latest project. This will lead her to Brixton, where she starts filming a shy youth Benji (Orebiyi), where the two start to get along, as she starts to experience the life of the youths in the area, while she has come from the wealthy background.
As Leah and Benji start getting romantically involved, Benji gets to show the more positive side to him, breaking away from the stereotype that Leah looked to be filming, while she must put her own artistic dreams on the line for this new relationship.
Thoughts on A Brixton Tale
Characters & Performances – Leah is the wealthy Youtuber who looks to create a different range of content, showing the life in different neighbourhoods, with her latest project being around Brixton. She keeps her camera on her at all times, as she is welcomed into the group by Benji, getting closer to see how the gangs operate, learning that reputation is misleading to the people involved. Benji is the shy youth from one of the Brixton estates, he is drawn into the criminal world because of where he lives, he gets to show a different side to him around Leah, as well as his friendship side supporting a friend in need. Lily Newmark and Ola Orebiyi are both brilliant in their performances, showing the rawness behind the performance of the characters in a packed set of stories in Brixton. When it comes to the supporting characters, we get to see the people that will put pressure on the two leads to go against making the changes in their lives.
Story – The story here follows a wealthy Youtuber who starts following a shy youth around Brixton, learning about the gang mentality, while slowly starting to fall in love with him, showing her need to learn to put a divide between life and work, with the young man, showing a side people wouldn’t normally see looking at the area he was raised. This is an important drama that will highlight the importance of not judging everyone by a reputation, showing us that people can want more, but they are pressured into things they don’t feel comfortable doing. The story does give us plenty to look at, when it comes to people’s behaviour, showing how trapped people might well become within the neighbourhoods, with the right person to guide them, they might be able to break free.
Themes – A Brixton Tale uses the Brixton backdrop to show us the different encounters the two will have, be it from rival gangs, authority figures, or even friends judging them. The romance comes from showing two people from different worlds coming together in a way most people around them wouldn’t expect, even questioning what they are doing.
Final Thoughts – A Brixton Tale is a great reflection of the life people imagine Brixton locals to have, showing the truth that reputation will haunt people.