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1 Day Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 06 November 2009 11:20
Director: Penny Woolcock
Cast: Dylan Duffus, Yohance Watson
Certificate: 15

Flash (Duffus) is a dealer with a good life. He has a family, several babymothers, and connections all round. But when Angel (Watson), lead man of the Old Street crew, comes out of prison early, Flash has a problem - he owes Angel £100k. He doesn't have it. What he does have is 24 hours.

Shot in and around Birmingham, director Penny Woolcock's portrayal of life is hard-hitting and exciting. Harnessing the talent found on the city's streets, her cast consists of first-timers, all of whom are genuine and energetic to watch. Bursting into rap whenever the moment suits, the characters pop rhymes to the beats on their phone, turning this into the world's first grime musical. It sounds like an original idea. It is. And it works, most of the time.

From Flash's three babymothers to his formidabble granny, 1 Day switches from shootouts to songs without pause. Bitching about their boyfriend over the phone, lyrics like "Hell No" are clever and catchy; darkly comic in places, this is a script completely at home with what it wants to be. There's even a brilliant discussion about evolution and the big bang - it's hilariously out of sync with the shooting and swearing, but somehow it slots right in.

Co-created by Dylan Duffus and Woolcock, this colourful project comes across as realistic. Casting friends and family in supporting roles, the sense of community is well fleshed out. Some of the lines are hard to get, and some of the songs seem a bit forced, but overall its an impressive British feature; it's like Adulthood. But better.


Different, surprising, shocking. 1 Day is a great use of real talent.



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We spoke with Penny Woolcock and her talented cast at 1 Day's premiere during the London Film Festival. Head over here to read what they said.

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  • dylan duffus
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