Review: NEDS (2011)

NEDS is the third film from writer and director Peter Mullan. Peter Mullan’s last film was the critically acclaimed Magdalene Sisters. NEDS is set in 1970s Glasgow. The film boasts a young cast of upcoming Scottish actors and they are brilliant in it. The film focuses on one young lad called John McGill who blessed with intelligence but with the environment he’s growing up in, the pen is defiantly not mightier than the sword.

What Peter Mullan has done is created a darkly funny, raw and brutal film and an insight to the gang culture in 1970s Glasgow. He does this exceptionally well. I’ll be honest when I found it hard to follow some of the dialogue due to the very thick Scottish accents but in some ways that’s what made the film more enjoyable and give that sense of realism. After all this isn’t hollywood.

John McGill played by Conor McCarron is the main character of the film and which the story is based around. He tries to not get sucked into the brutal life of the gang world, but that’s not easy when his brother is one of the main leaders. John is very smart which doesn’t fit in the area he’s from and this often gets him more unwanted and negative attention. After a while he then descends into a debauchery lifestyle of drugs, alcohol and violence.

Peter Mullan has made a brilliant film and it defiantly this years “This Is England” which was done by Shane Meadows. It is a coming of age film which I know is very cliched but you can’t hide from the fact it is. It’s shot beautifully, the dialogue is well scripted and acted by the young cast. The use of music is interesting as well. With often violent attacks being accompanied with high tempo uplifting music. You don’t know whether to laugh or be shocked but it works well within the context of the film.

I really enjoyed the film and highly recommend it to people to see. If I had to gripe I would say it’s probably a bit too long and there some points near the end where thought: okay, surely you can end it here? But I’m just nitpicking now. Even though it’s been very well received by critics it is a small film so don’t expect it to last long in the big cinemas. I’m sure it will still be round in the smaller local chains though. It is a must see film and Peter Mullan’s has done a fantastic job.


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