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There’s some really strong acting talent involved in this claustrophobic thriller set in south Wales, including the excellent Steve Speirs, who recently showed what a great comic turn he is as Burbage in Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow. But, however much I wanted to like it, this film never quite gelled: the dialogue and the confrontations seemed forced; some characters looked and sounded like caricatures; and the moment of escalation from tension into open violence was unconvincing.
Kevin Guthrie plays Simon, an arrogant landowner who is refurbishing the ancestral home as part of a colossal tax dodge on the advice of his slippery accountant Richard (James Lance). To do this, he has hired five builders: Bob (Speirs), Jim (Chris Reilly), Dave (William Thomas), Steve (Charley Palmer Rothwell) and Viktor (Goran Bogdan), a Ukrainian immigrant whose smouldering good looks appear to catch the eye of Simon’s beautiful, troubled wife Amy (Amber Rose Revah).
Simon makes these builders live on a horrible caravan on the estate, treats them like dirt, neglects to pay them on time, and makes a deeply misjudged attempt to be matey by joining them for a hand of poker in their squalid van and loses heavily – thus compounding his sin in not coming through with the wages.
The problem is that too often the film sounds like a quaint fantasy of what rich people sound like, what not-rich people sound like, and what criminals sound like. But there are some nice performances: I liked the stoicism of Thomas’s veteran grafter Dave, which unravels into resentment at the youngsters’ annoying attitude.
• Concrete Plans is available on digital platforms from 23 November.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Concrete Plans review – resentful brickies build up the tension | Film