Awaydays Review

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Set in The Wirral, in the early days of Thatcher's reign, the plot focuses on a group of young men doing what they can to escape the daily grind of the 9-5 lifestyle.


In Kevin Sampson’s adaptation of his own novel, directed by Pat Holden, the first months of Thatcher’s Britain are played out against the period-perfect dankness of the Wirral, where pockets of hooligans gulp back jars of booze and cough medicine and gear up for the next fight. It’s here that we meet Carty (Nicky Bell), a trainer-obsessed upstart desperately seeking an outlet for the pent-up aggression that dandified ‘Pack’ brawler Elvis (Liam Boyle) soon tries to divert elsewhere.

It’s a perpetually gloomy film marked by the snick of Stanley knives and the scowling teenage tribe who wield them, but there are major threads — particularly Elvis’ lust for his new friend left frustratingly tangled.

Atmospheric but ultimately unsuccessful story-telling.