It’s hard to give the well-worn London gangster genre a fresh spin, but this debut feature from experienced editor Andrew Hulme (‘Control’, ‘The Imposter’) has a stab at it by piling on moody atmospherics and plugging into hot-button issues of faith and social class.
Dave (Frederick Schmidt), a lost young man and two-bit gangland gofer – looking like a younger, more rat-faced Ethan Hawke –is having a breakdown in the bit of Hoxton still reserved for leather-faced, ageing white crims. Dave’s crack habit doesn’t help and the local hipsters get his goat. Is it possible that he’ll find solace at the local mosque when he gets caught between his psychotic uncle Jimmy and his late father’s cheeky wideboy pal Mickey?
Hulme’s attempt to view the everyday London underworld via a full-blown, early-Scorsese-style existential crisis, while largely dialling down the hysterics, is admirable. The documentary-style location shooting lends the whole thing a credible feel and there’s a winning intensity to the performances. Yet there’s still a bogus, posturing air to ‘Snow in Paradise’, a film that leans on more crime-movie clichés than anyone involved would probably admit.