British director Destiny Ekharaga’s debut short film ‘Tight Jeans’ was a perfect miniature, a smart look at race in Britain in the form of a simple comic sketch. Her first feature, ‘Gone Too Far!’, retains the wit, the wisdom and the Peckham setting, but it has a great deal more to say.
British-Nigerian teenager Yemi (Malachi Kirby) is trying oh so hard: he’s got the right clothes, he listens to the right music, he stays out of trouble. And it seems to be working: local princess Armani (Shanika Warren-Markland) has even started paying attention, much to Yemi’s delight. So when his socks-and-sandals-wearing Nigerian brother Ikudayisi (OC Ukeje) moves in, Yemi is mortified: this goggle-eyed, naive immigrant can do nothing but harm his credibility.
Ekharaga does have a tendency to play the comedy a touch broad – there’s a hint of slapstick which doesn’t quite come off – but this is a superbly judged comedy of racial manners. The script by first-timer Bola Agbaje fairly crackles, the cast are uniformly excellent (Kirby and Ukeje are a fraternal double-act for the ages), and they’re given free reign thanks to Ekharaga’s roving, long-take directing style. Low-key, low-budget, high-intelligence, this is precisely the kind of film London ought to be producing.