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With backing from Paramount Pictures and BBC Films, writer-director Andrew Onwubolu (AKA the south London MC Rapman) has turned his three-part viral web series Shiro’s Story into a feature. I’ve often wondered what would happen if low-budget “hood” movies were made at scale; the clarity, energy and rhythm of Onwubolu’s storytelling make the case for it.
The tale itself isn’t especially new; Timmy (Stephen Odubola) and Marco (Top Boy’s Micheal Ward) are friends from rival postcodes (Deptford’s SE8 and Peckham’s SE15) who inherit a feud. Fatalities ensue; the documentary-style iPhone footage and TV news clips about gangs, guns and knife crime that bookend the film reinforce its message. If it weren’t clear enough, Onwubolu breaks the fourth wall, interrupting the narrative with music video-style interludes, his rapped commentary functioning as the film’s Greek chorus.
It shouldn’t work yet it does, underscoring the tragedy of corrupted innocence, constricting codes of masculinity and the aftermath of trauma. Better still are the lighter moments when Blue Story dips into coming-of-age territory. Odubola exudes a particular sweetness as the shy Timmy, whose seduction tactics include Doritos and Game of Thrones.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Blue Story review – south London boys in the hood | Blue Story