Film, Thrillers
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.

By: Tom Huddleston



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 11 2009
88 mins

Cast and crew

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