100 Streets follows the tradition of strongly interweaving dramas like Crash and Traffic making for a richly rewarding experience.
The film revolves around three main subplots. Idris Elba plays Max, a retired rugby superstar, now trying to find the same rush he enjoyed from his glory days. He didn’t find it with an affair and now is struggling to repair his fractured relationship with his wife, Emily (Gemma Arterton). Emily is also at a crossroads as she considers reuniting with Max or continuing her affair with an old flame (Tom Cullen).
Another subplot sees George (Charlie Creed-Miles), a cab driver and his wife, Kathy (Kierston Wareing) face an unexpected tragedy. Going nowhere drug dealer Kingsley (Franz Drameh) finally finds a purpose after meeting the kindly Terrence (Ken Stott).
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Maybe by virtue of Elba being featured, Max and Emily’s subplot is the most well-rounded. It could have easily been the basis of a film on its own with the numerous wrinkles that unfold. Showcasing Elba is hardly a bad thing as he’s able to make the stereotypical coddled athlete sympathetic. Arterton is an underrated strong performer and she plays off Elba well giving Emily a quiet rage and determination.
George and Kathy’s subplot is the biggest tearjerker not just from the circumstances, but due to the strong, emotional work from Creed-Miles and Wareing.
Drameh has always been one of the more underwhelming performers in CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. He makes a strong case he simply needs better material as he truly holds his end up on his subplot, which is the most unpredictable. It’s nice to see Drameh shine in such a strong showcase.
Screenwriter Leon Butler finds simple ways to have the characters continually intersect. Butler smartly avoids making it feel too convenient however so these random encounters don’t feel forced. There’s one moment in the final act that ignores common sense for drama, but it gives Elba an opportunity to flex his acting muscles so it’s not all terrible.
Director Jim O’Hanlon continually stages creative shots with unique perspectives. At times, he brings the cameras tightly onto the characters for more intense, personal moments. Then he expands the camera to embrace the film’s theme of regular people living their lives in a huge, wide world filled with beautiful backdrops.
Paul Saunderson’s score always hits the right marks and fits the tone of each moment nicely. With a sharply paced 93 minute run time, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome.
100 Streets doesn’t redefine the genre, but it’s an all around solid film that’s worth checking out.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films