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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.

Score: 7/10

Zinda: Unauthorised remake… Absolute rip-off of Oldboy. Story-wise it’s an ‘Indianized’ version of the original; scene for scene – barring the first and last five minutes – but with all humour, taboo, acting, style (and everything that makes the original great & watchable) ripped out. The script is beyond terrible & drifted between Hindi and English, which is bizarre, stupid and very annoying. The main fight scene is totally lame-o. It looks like this was filmed in the 1990s, on a home video camera with all colour deliberately washed-out, leaving a depressing blue. The shitty distributor logo (Eros) keeps appearing on the top left. There’s a ridiculous soft porn scene and loads of close-up torture / wound stitching for no real reason. The ending’s still messed up, despite being completely different, hats off for that. If I’d never seen or heard of Oldboy I’d have thought the story was alright but poorly executed (perhaps a 4/10) but having seen, and love, Oldboy I’m going to have to make sure this one’s dead and buried. Shame on everyone involved!

Score: 0.5/10