NEDS: follows a catholic kid in Glasgow circa in the 1970s at the teenage crossroads between continuing education or joining gang life. With a no-holds barred approach to the story and filmmaking, this is gritty, raw and violent for the entire duration; the mentality of the characters is particularly shocking – but as a Scot, I can (sadly) vouch for the realism. The language is coarse and very broad Scottish, so will be pretty difficult for anyone outwith the country to fully understand it. The central character is also one of the meanest pieces of work I can remember, with a likability score of zero, even as the school SWAT. Put this all together and you’ve got a moderately depressing story that in parts makes Trainspotting look like a sitcom – but there’s a few saving graces. There’s a lot of great performances, especially from a cast made primarily of non-actors; most notably the father and both the young & teenage Johns (esp Conor McCarron). Secondly, although it gets to some pretty dark places, the story arc is fantastic, proving to be very powerful and surprisingly effective as a whole. I’m glad I saw NEDS, at first I wasn’t impressed but as the story continued I was slowly drawn in and engaged through to the last 5 minutes. Even though it’s pretty dismal, this film won me over in the end.
These sorts of movies are always tough to watch, I reckon, if you have any pride in being British. I just slogged my way through ‘Fish Tank’. Good film, but I get amost embarassed about the way our country (or countries, I suppose, as you’re from north of the border) have turned out recently.
I think the Scottish must have the worst on-screen stereotype of any UK nation (excluding London). Apparently we’re all knife-wielding, ugly, alcoholic, ginger accidents.
Meant to pick Fish Tank up as I missed it in the cinema, may leave it a while ’til I’ve shaken off the shame of NEDS though :-p
I thought of you, and this site today as I watched the puppet animation ‘Jackboots on Whitehall’. If you thought your countrymen were stereotypically presented before, wait til you see this!
Ha ha ha, this post is turning into a “how shit/rough is life in Scotland” topic! :)
Jackboots on Whitehall looks like it could be pretty fun though, will pick it up when I see it in the shops.
Thanks for thinking of me, and terrible Scotland :-p