Small Time Obsession [2000] [DVD]

December 28, 2017 - Comment

Erroneously labelled a “gangster film”, the independently made British film Small Time Obsession is in fact a thought-provoking essay on generation gaps and loyalties. London’s Polish District is the setting, where four long-term friends are used to filling time and their pockets with petty crime. Michael (Alex King) has come to realise he has increasingly

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Erroneously labelled a “gangster film”, the independently made British film Small Time Obsession is in fact a thought-provoking essay on generation gaps and loyalties. London’s Polish District is the setting, where four long-term friends are used to filling time and their pockets with petty crime. Michael (Alex King) has come to realise he has increasingly less in common with the others, and also with his parents who own a delicatessen. Life’s big decisions elude Michael. His exclusively Polish-speaking father wants him to take over the family business, his greyhound Bullitt is starting to win prizes at the track and he’s also secretly in love with Ali (Juliette Caton). Unfortunately she’s already spoken for by tough guy Chris (Jason Merrells). This love triangle hardly has time to sort itself out since Chris is inadvertently embroiling them all in more Big Time crime. Although the circumstances inevitably lead to bouts of violence , what’s refreshing here is that character relationships genuinely resonate with believability. First time writer/director Piotr Szkopiak tells the story with several shades of sympathetic subtlety, sensitively portraying the problems of a generation torn between inheriting their parents’ displaced traditions and “fitting in”.

On the DVD: In this anamorphic widescreen presentation the dirty grey backdrop of London seems to rise up and swamp the characters. A 14-minute documentary (“Behind the Obsession”) talks about those locales and how the director and distributor marketed the film. As well as a trailer, the extras package includes numerous text pages devoted to: cast and crew biographies, Production Notes, Locations, Media Reviews and the Polish Community. –Paul Tonks

Comments

Anonymous says:

A fine obsession A thoroughly enjoyable film with a good, strong, storyline that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. The acting was excellent and I found the idea of having the parents always speaking in Polish very interesting. At times, the film betrayed it’s low budget and seemed a little over-ambitious, especially during the action sequences, but I did not find this to be particularly distracting as I was always involved in what was going on. Overall, I thought this was a very honest and personal…

Amazon Customer says:

One of the best impulse-buys I have ever made In short: 

Richard Hubac says:

Excellent Juliette Caton Excellent Juliette Caton, an excellent film.

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