Film Review – The Intent (2016)

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The Intent

The British Urban genre is back with a vengeance. There is no question about it! After viewing ‘The Intent’ the subjective conjecture results to it being brazen, brutal and brilliant. It is pleasant to see that one of Kidulthood’s leading actors Femi Oyeniran has an avid respect for the genre as he writes, directs, produces and acts in this fine film. First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with an actor observing other director’s talents and traits. Oyeniran and his co-director Kalvadour Peterson have been pragmatic by gaining wisdom from their ex-colleagues, such as Menhaj Huda, Noel Clarke and Adam Deacon. They have learnt from the superlative figures in the British Urban genre and made a film their own. The Intent is just as dark, just as gritty and just as powerful as its predecessors in terms of the genre.

The plot is straightforward and although one can compare this to many other films, as long as it has a combination and array of films, that is what the public yearn for. Gunz (Dylan Duffus) is propelled into a world of exhilaration when he joins the TIC crew. (Thieves in the Community) The crew, led by the ruthless Hoodz (Scorcher), goes from low level weed dealer to full on armed robberies within a fortnight. Their new found notoriety affords them a life of guns, drugs, and girls but they also catch the attention of the police and a rival gang. To make matters worse they have been infiltrated by an undercover police officer. Does he have “THE INTENT” to remain a criminal or abide by his oath to the force?

You’ve guessed it! The undercover cop theme can be compared to Reservoir Dogs, but more rather Point Break springs to mind when Gunz, the undercover cop becomes emotionally attached to the criminals that he tries to bring down. Who should he side with? Cops or robbers? Add in the Hughes Brothers brilliant Dead Presidents in terms of brutal ambushes and robberies with a dollop of Kidulthood and out comes The Intent. The dialogue is so realistic in terms of British ghetto that it may need English sub-titles for an American distribution. However producer/actor Nicky Slimting Walker has aimed for this notion wisely. He has produced a film set in South London about dangerous gangs that get up to mischief, chaos and corruption that the common outcome will always occur with these types of hoodlums: A rise and a fall!

The performances are outstanding. Grime artist, Tayo Jarrett or better known as Scorcher has a proven an acting prowess as he has stolen the film like Michael Madsen did in Reservoir Dogs. His charisma is captivating as he leads his gang like Scarface only resulting to the too much power corrupts theme. A standout scene in the film can be homage to Scarface where Hoodz visits his mother like Tony Montana and tries to give her a huge wad of money to clear his conscience, however the fact that his mother doesn’t want to have anything to do with it due to it being derived from criminality is a powerful scene to watch.

Overall The Intent is an excellent addition to the British Urban genre. The fact that many writers try to write this genre and mostly gets rejected is a reason why we should watch this film. This film has been accepted by producers as it stands the test of time and conveys a cruel reality of criminals and hard edged gangs of South London. It might teach us a lesson that we all play cards that determine the outcome of our destiny. According to Oyeniran’s religious character Mitch; the key is to accept the cards that are dealt to you by God and the best will happen to you.

Aly Lalji

Crime, Drama | UK, 2016 | 15 | Independent | 29th July 2016 (UK) | Dir.Femi Oyeniran | Tayo Jarrett, Dylan Duffus, Shone Romulus, Femi Oyeniran, Ashley Chin | Where To Watch Film