Jun 7, 2014

Review: Everywhere and Nowhere (2011)

Everywhere and Nowhere is meant to be the spiritual sequel to Kidulthood. Menhaj Huda did indeed direct Kidulthood but as I had mentioned in my review, it isn't his movie. Noel Clarke was the writer and he went on to direct and write Kidulthood's real sequel, Adulthood. I don't necessarily think that Menhaj Huda is a bad director but if you compare Kidulthood to Adulthood, it makes him look like a mercenary who doesn't really understand what Noel Clarke was going for.

Everywhere and Nowhere seems a lot more personal for Menhaj Huda. He actually did some of the writing this time around. He himself is Bangladeshi and the protagonist of the film is Pakistani. That's not to say that these countries are the same, but both feature strong Muslim majorities with all the traditions that entails. The roles of family and religion are significant in Everywhere and Nowhere and compared to what Huda tackled in Kidulthood, I think he has more of  a chance of creating a convincing story this time around.

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Genre: drama
Directed by: Menhaj Huda
Produced by: Sam Tromans, Tim Cole, Stella Nwimo, etc.
Written by: Gurpreet Bhatti, Menhaj Huda
Music by: The Angel
Running time: 96 minutes
Production company: Arena Productions, Foton Films, Prime Focus
Distributed by: Mara Pictures, Falcon Films, 21st Century Pictures, etc.
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: James Floyd, Adam Deacon, Shivani Ghai, Neet Mohan, Elyes Gabel, Katia Winter, Shaheen Khan, Simon Webbe, James Buckley, Art Malik, Saeed Jaffrey, Ronny Jhutti, Amber Rose Revah

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Synopsis


Ash Khan (James Floyd) is a young man who who lives in suburban London. His family is firmly in the middle-class and as a result he does have some pretty nice privileges but basically lives a double life. He goes out at night to clubs, he drinks, does drugs and the list goes on. He's done two years of Accountancy at university but he's dropped out. He wants something different and he doesn't want to end up working at his dad's shop for the rest of his life either. He does DJ-ing as a hobby and he becomes passionate about pursuing the dream of being a professional DJ.

Review


Everywhere and Nowhere can definitely be categorized as a coming-of-age film because it features a young person facing big decisions and trying to make their way into adulthood. Ash is pretty unhappy with his family, especially his dad. If he were to continue on by his dad's rules things would definitely be easier for him but he'd probably be miserable for the rest of his life.

This type of story isn't really anything new. Person wants to be something but parents won't let them. The thing is, a lot of the dramatic moments in Everywhere and Nowhere fail to actually be moving. They appear very powerfully and suddenly which makes them kind of comical. Also inadvertently comical is Ash's dad who represents a significant barrier to Ash. He's just way too mean to be able to take him seriously.

There are also a couple of problems with the script. It's too convenient in how things work or fail for Ash. (Spoilers) There's a scene where Ash's mix gets played at some party that's a quiet affair on a roof patio. The second his music starts playing everyone gets up and starts dancing. Literally, not a second later. You can also spot from a mile away that Ash's friend who's drunk while he's doing a major set is going to cause trouble. (End Spoilers) There's also a ridiculous moment where all of the tension that Ash has been storing suddenly explodes in the most bizarre way and causes him to reevaluate his life and figure out what he's going to do. It's an eye-rollingly lazy way to advance the story.

I also can't help but nitpick a scene where I think that Huda is totally at fault. (Spoilers) During the sex scene with Bella, (Katia Winter) you see James Floyd's dick twice. The first time is at the beginning of the scene and he's completely flaccid. OK, so he's not turned on yet, that's fine I guess. He will be in a moment right? However, the second time you see it, Ash and Bella have been going at it and until Ash is pushed off . He's COMPLETELY flaccid still which makes no sense. If Huda wanted to include male nudity, he should've thought this stuff out. Either place the camera strategically or include the nudity properly. Excuse me for all the talk about James Floyd's dick, moving on. (End Spoilers)

Everywhere and Nowhere is a project that's clearly more personal for Menhaj Huda but he strikes out. The script just seems halfhearted and dramatic scenes are flat as a result. James Floyd as Ash does alright I suppose but his performance can't lift this sorry film. You could say that my opinion of Huda's directing and writing skills isn't very high at the moment.

Rating


5/10