Offender is the latest gritty British thriller about the London riots to hit our screens, and the second of the summer after the very well-received iLL Manors.
It follows Tommy Nix (Joe Cole), who purposefully gets himself committed to a young offender’s prison, in order to seek revenge on the gang who ruined his life – played by English Frank (Jake), rapper G. Frsh (Angelface) and Tyson Oba (Mason). The movie follows Tommy’s life inside the prison and tracks how he plans his revenge, alongside well placed flashbacks of why he’s there and what his revenge is for. The cast includes a wide range of young actors and rappers, and whether they’re a prison gangster, a misunderstood inmate or a crime victim, they are all perfectly suited to their roles.
It is a violent and, at times, graphic account of what really goes on behind prison gates. In particular, the ‘reality’ of dodgy guards, overlooked violence and favouritism with inmates hits a striking note with the audience. Shaun Dooley plays Nash, an exceptionally gruesome prison guard, who has his favourites and overlooks what they do to other inmates in order to get what he wants – especially with Jake.
The acting is outstanding from most, if not all, of the young actors involved. Cole is certain to make his name in this film and is definitely destined for great things. He really brings the character of Tommy Nix to life, and whether he’s acting heartbroken or angry, his emotions ring true throughout. From the onset, he is fantastic and very comfortable in his role, showcasing his wide-ranging talents well.
English Frank also gives an exceptional performance as the ‘bad guy’ and head of the gang. He portrays the head gangster faultlessly and, often, the viewer can really relate to Tommy’s hatred towards Jake. The main cast is finalised by the very talented Kimberly Nixon as Elise; a social worker and Tommy’s girlfriend. Her scenes are the most intense, but Nixon is fantastic in the role, and her sequences have the most impact on the audience.
Offender is a fantastic movie, drawing the viewer in with its unique storyline and emotions throughout. It is quite upsetting in places, with graphically violent and emotionally charged scenes that are particularly moving – but it is certainly not designed for the fainthearted! However, we definitely think it’s worth watching. With fantastic performances from its up-and-coming cast, and an engrossing storyline, Offender is beautifully shot, and the gritty plot is enough to challenge classic British thrillers of a similar nature.
Offender is released in cinemas nationwide from 8th August.
Written by Sherin Malick