Fallout – your take

Rebecca Monique Williams, 20, has sent in this review of Fallout, which aired on Channel 4 last night.

Written in 2003, originally as a stage-play, by award winning playwright Roy Williams, Fallout proved to be worth the watch.

Based loosely on the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor, the drama encompasses all the expected features: absent fathers, racism within the police, a black police officer who engages with the kids in a way the white cop can’t, and even a loud-music-on-the-bus scene. The dialogue throughout feels real as it captures the street patois and lingo to the tee.

The drama follows a street gang who knife a kid to death for his trainers. Trainers of which, in fear of getting caught, the gang end up throwing into a river.
The pursuit only began because the group leader was egged on by his fellow gang member who asked “Are you going to take that?” when their victim tried to avoid further confrontation. Feeling obliged to ‘teach the boy a lesson’ they chase him. Only after the stabbing, do the consequences sink in.
Throughout the rest of the film we see the murderer riddled with nightmares and almost going out of his mind as a full-scale investigation begins. Despite this, he refuses to speak to the “feds” about the murder.
The main female character plays the gang members off one another by bringing out their natural rivalry. We later find out that she was the catalyst in the murder of the boy.

We also see a young boy of 13 get enrolled in the same gang who committed the murder. When caught steeling by the black detective (played by Lennie James), who takes him home, we find that the boy’s mother works three jobs and is hardly at home, thus giving him no other choice but to hang around on the streets. At such an impressionable age he is taught by the gang that you’re a “fool” if you want academic success.

Personally, I was slightly disappointed with the abrupt ending. I felt that there was no closure. We don’t get to find out what happened to the characters or even if justice was done.

Overall, the drama’s focus on personal nuances allow the larger issues, such as absent parents and lack of academic success, to be highlighted as causes of street violence amongst youths.

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2 Responses

  1. You’d need to be a sad case to be inspired violently by the Disarming Britain series. I’ve found it a highly informative expose on gun and knife culture. To cap all of that, the movie lastnight; Fallout should be nominated for several awards. It was perfectly acted, held a gripping pace, addressed all angles caught up in gun culture and delivered a damn fine bit of new drama. Powerful stuff (thumb’s up) – On a par with Nil By Mouth and A Sense of Freedom. Pure excellence…

    Lugh 🙂

  2. am a black woman i feel so bad about that movie fallout why is only black people in that movie is it black people alone doing crime in this country u are showing the black kids to go and do more crime that not the way of solving the problem i would never let my child in that movie

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