AKA Review

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A destitute Romford teenager passes himself off as the son of an aristocrat.


Based on director Duncan Roy's own experiences, this study of an abused Romford teenager's socio-sexual identity crisis is hamstrung by its own ambition.

By splitting the screen into three segments, Roy clearly sought to create a visual conflict commensurate with that of actor Matthew Leitch, as he passes himself off in Paris as the son of gallery-owning aristo, Diana Quick. But while the director achieves some interesting shifts in perspective, he's nowhere near as inventive in his juxtapositions as Mike Figgis was in Timecode. Moreover, he fails to exploit the dramatic and political potential of setting the action in 1978, on the cusp of Thatcherite class revisionism.

Leitch carries the deception credibly, but his triangle with Texan hustler Peter Youngblood Hills and languid playboy George Asprey is allowed to drift and becomes detached from the sub-plot.

An interesting experiment that fails through a lack of focus.