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  • 3 out of 5 stars
Wayne Virgo 2.jpg

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Shot and performed by a crew with an average age of 19 – under the tutelage of experienced DIY filmmakers Christian Martin and Robert Shulevitz – ‘Shank’ feels like a student film gone a bit berserk.

Structured around a sweet romance between coke-snorting, self-hating hoodie-on-the-run Cal (Wayne Virgo) and flighty French student Olivier (Marc Laurent), the film draws on timely issues of class struggle and criminal violence to build a convincing picture of gay life at street level.

It’s all rather worthy and simplistic, relying on hackneyed depictions of cellphone-wielding happy-slappers and graffitied backstreets. The cast is patchy at best, notably Cal’s stereotypical thug-life cronies, but Virgo grounds the proceedings with a compelling central turn.

Martin and Shulevitz’s script is nicely constructed, with a few well-judged – if overcooked – last act revelations. Overall, ‘Shank’ has a lot more to say than the average no-budget gangland exposé, resulting in a film which, for all its clichés, feels surprisingly real.
Written by Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 11 September 2009
  • Duration:88 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Simon Pearce, Mo Ali
  • Screenwriter:Christian Martin, Robert Shulevitz
  • Cast:
    • Wayne Virgo
    • Marc Laurent
    • Alice Payne
    • Kedar Williams-Stirling
    • Paul Van Carter
    • Adam Deacon
    • Ashley Bashy Thomas
    • Michael Socha
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