Blue Story (Subtitled) (15)



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Drama (2019)
91mins UK

Starring: Micheal Ward, Stephen Odubola, Khali Best
Director: Rapman
Writer(s): Rapman
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Best friends Marco and Timmy attend the same school in Peckham, where they share a circle of wise-cracking friends and Timmy nervously pursues romance with feisty classmate Leah. However, Timmy lives in neighbouring Lewisham and postcode wars between rival gangs dictate that he should be sworn enemies with Marco. When tensions between the two tribes are inflamed by Lewisham gang leader Madder, culminating in senseless tragedy, Marco and Timmy are finally pitted against each other.

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LondonNet Film Review
Blue Story (15)

South London-born rapper-turned-YouTube star Andrew Onwubolu aka Rapman makes his feature film directorial debut with an urgent cautionary tale about the futility of gang warfare on the streets of the capital. He draws inspiration from newspaper headlines and his childhood in Lewisham to expand on themes from a semi-autobiographical trilogy of shorts also entitled Blue Story and openly question the sense of youths laying lives on the line based on something as arbitrary as the postcode of their council estate...

Blue Story. Copyright: Paramount Pictures. Caption: Michael Ward as Marco and Stephen Odubala as Timmy in Blue Story, directed by Rapman. Photo: Nick Wall. All Rights Reserved.Rapman appears periodically on screen as a swaggering Greek chorus, underscoring his timely central message of cool heads under fire with lyrical narration. "RIP to all the innocent lives/I hope these young 'uns wake up and they start seeing the light," he pleads aloud. He is the creative dynamo that powers of every frame of Blue Story, so-called because the area where he grew up was nicknamed the "blue borough" on account of the colour of refuse bins and official correspondence. Stripped bare of the musical interjections, Rapman's film follows a predictable trajectory from brotherhood to bloodshed, employing a Romeo and Juliet-style forbidden romance as a catalyst for the enmity and petrol-doused retribution.

Best friends Marco (Micheal Ward) and Timmy (Stephen Odubala) attend the same school in Peckham, where they share a close-knit circle of friends including Dwayne (Rohan Nedd) and Hakeem (Kadeem Ramsay). Unlike the rest of the posse, Timmy lives in neighbouring Deptford and postcode wars between rival gangs in the two boroughs dictate that he should consider Marco his enemy. The teenagers refuse to allow this fierce animosity to weaken their fraternal bond - "Remember we've got each other's backs" - and they playfully trade barbs as Timmy pines for feisty classmate Leah (Karla Simone Spence). Romance slowly blossoms and Timmy encourages Leah to dream far beyond the boundaries of SE15: "Look at John Boyega. He's from Peckham and he's in Star Wars now!" Alas, one of Timmy's friends from home, Killy (Khali Best), attacks Marco and inflames tensions between the two tribes. Resentment is fanned by Lewisham gang leader Madder (Junior Afolabi Salokun) and Marco's older brother Switcher (Eric Kofi-Abrefa), leader of the Peckham faithful. In the aftermath of senseless tragedy, Marco and Timmy are pitted against each other in an escalating war of blades, bullets, bravado and brutality.

Blue Story feeds on the energy and passion of its writer-director, who draws on his own experiences to explore the corrosive power of tribalism. Ward and Odubala are well matched as fallen brothers in arms, whose bonds of trust fray with tragic repercussions for allies in their volatile orbits.

- Sam Cannon

Blue Story. Copyright: Paramount Pictures. Caption: Michael Ward as Marco and Stephen Odubala as Timmy in Blue Story, directed by Rapman. Photo: Nick Wall. All Rights Reserved.


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