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24 7: Twenty Four Seven 1997

  • Shane Meadows
  • May 1, 1998
  • 96 mins
  • English
  • Comedy, Drama, Romance
In a typical English working-class town, the juveniles have nothing more to do than hang around in gangs. One day, Alan Darcy, a highly motivated man with the same kind of youth experience, starts trying to get the young people off the street and into doing something they can believe in: Boxing. Darcy opens a boxing club, aiming to bring the rival gangs together.

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Good cast. A lot of life to the characters. A lot of charcaters have some kind of hang up or setup to be resolved. They don't all get resolved but the important stuff does. I like how it dealt with the nature of violence. Don't know why it's black and white. Maybe tries to be too gritty.

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Gritty and witty in just the right ways. The writing, directing and artistic composition is triumphant, but that's what you expect from Meadows: he consistently delivers.

In this hard, working-class setting three subplots make up the narrative: Darcy's brainchild the 101 Boxing Club, designed to keep the youngsters off the street and out of trouble; Tim's volatile and violent homelife, always threatening to erupt and confront us; and Darcy's search for purpose, meaning and romance in an otherwise directionless life. These flowing tributaries converge into a relentless river, sweeping characters along in a turn of events that is brutal and dark in typical Meadows style.

As with much of his material Meadows mostly uses little known (or totally unknown) actors and extracts a breathtakingly mature performance from them. Without taking anything away from Hoskins (Darcy), Jones (Tim's Dad) and Harper (Ronny), who all put in the solid performances we expect from their calibre, it is the younger, unknown cast members who are a real joy to watch, providing a perfect balance of bravado and buffoonery, of hardness and humour, arrogance and abjection, giving the film a credibility and authenticity that belies their inexperience.

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