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388. Strangeways Here We Come; movie review

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Title : 388. Strangeways Here We Come; movie review
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Cert 15
86 mins
BBFC advice: Contains strong language, drugs misuse, sex, sex references, sexual violence

It's confession time. Until watching Strangeways Here We Come, I had never heard of Michelle Keegan.
This is relevant because the presence of the former Coronation Street actress has prompted headlines about a film which may not have otherwise seen a cinema release.
Nevertheless, the reviews of the movie have been unfavourable, prompting its director to comment that only those living in Salford would really chime with its 'brash humour'.
Having only parked my car there a couple of times when visiting Old Trafford, I don't feel qualified to say whether he is right or wrong. However, I can confirm that it did not resonate with a lad from Coventry who now lives in Nottinghamshire.
Chris Green's film is set at a Salford tower block whose residents are being plagued by a bully-boy money-lender (Stephen Lord).
During an impromptu party held by an eccentric young man (Oliver Coopersmith), the victims decide to club together to plot their revenge.
Inevitably, nothing is as straightforward as it seems and this eclectic bunch become initially waylaid by drugs and drink.
Personally, I have never been tickled by drugs so the avalanche of jokes about their various effects left me cold.
In addition, there are elements of farce which might have been funny in the hands of the innocent Chuckle Brothers but are tarnished by the drug-taking and regular references to sexual abuse.
For what it's worth, Keegan plays a young woman who is on the receiving end of the latter and she isn't the only one.
However, sex is also the subject much of the film's so-called humour. It is a juxtaposition which jars badly.
I was left thinking that Salford must be a very peculiar place if Green's movie resonates with its residents. If they do find it funny, they are probably in need of mass therapy.

Reasons to watch: Offbeat British indie comedy
Reasons to avoid: Duff jokes around drugs and explicit sex

Laughs: A couple of smirks rather than laughs
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 3.5/10

Director quote - Chris Green: "To be fair, only living in Salford would expose you to the rich vein of banter and brash humour that is deployed, both as a shield and a weapon, against a system that is stacked against residents from the start."

The big question - Are things really this bleak in Salford?

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