4.3.2.1

4321Director: Noel Clarke/Mark Davis
Writer: Noel Clarke 
Producer: Noel Clarke/Damon Bryant/James Edward Barker
Starring: Emma Roberts/Noel Clarke/Adam Deacon/Ben Drew/Eve/Michelle Ryan
Year: 2010
Country: UK
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 116 minutes

Noel Clarke has written the brilliant Kidulthood and Adulthood and when I heard about 4.3.2.1, it made me wonder if he could step it up a notch from the Kidulthood and Adulthood movies. Unfortunately, not only did he not step it up, he took a step down. 4.3.2.1 has some positive points but it’s unfortunate that it’s not enough for me to recommend this movie. 4.3.2.1 works cleverly as a time-shifting narrative, showing us what happens to four girls living in London in the same three-days. Each character has their own story: Cassandra flies to New York to meet her internet boyfriend, Jo gets more than she bargained for when working a late-night shift in a supermarket, Kerrys is getting into trouble all of the time and Shannon is coping after her parents split up. It’s basically four stories combined in one movie with little things like phone calls and text messages from the four girls in each individual story to keep it tied together. Each story from the girls last from twenty to thirty minutes each to which they can either bore you or entertain you. For me, two did entertain me but the other two bored me to tears. Cassandra’s and Jo’s was quite entertaining but I felt that Kerrys’ and Shannon’s was lacking a little. While it’s clever the way the story has been told and the way they intertwined with the four girls, the full story isn’t really interesting and feels a little bit unrealistic.

Another thing 4.3.2.1 doesn’t have that’s good is the acting, Emma Roberts is the only one in the movie who does a good job of portraying her character but the rest of the cast were below average and weren’t totally convincing of their characters. There were some mediocre performances but I have seen better from some of the cast in previous movies, especially Noel Clarke and Adam Deacon. Michelle Ryan’s character has to be one of the most annoying character I have seen in a movie even though her character wasn’t in the movie for long. I was happy as soon as her character was off the screen.4.3.2.1 might boast a clever narrative but the rest of the movie doesn’t have anything positive about it. The writing is mediocre as there wasn’t really much character development and you didn’t feel anything for the characters either. Also, their stories and the main story is quite predictable from the word “go”, however it doesn’t stop with the story trying to have a message, although the message isn’t really quite clear most of the time except for in Cassandra’s story.

While you can see they’re trying to make four different stories into one movie, it doesn’t work because it just felt like a television series and I was watching the episodes back-to-back. The direction wasn’t too bad and the way the story was told was quite good but the actual story itself was just tedious at times and you could see the room for improvement and quality.Would I recommend 4.3.2.1 to anybody? Yes but only to rent because it’s one of those movies that you couldn’t really watch again for a very long time. While 4.3.2.1 may not be Noel Clarke’s best work, it was still pretty decent and it was a good attempt to try something different while keeping to the same things he does and knows about, which is writing gritty street dramas. Overall, I couldn’t watch this again but it was good for something to keep the boredom away. This would have been a lot better if it was a television series.

5/10

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