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London Kills Me Movie Review

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Hanif Kureishi has written some fine screenplays for director Stephen Frears, but left to his own devices, the best he can come up with is London Kills Me, a shapeless film about the down-and-out residents of Ladbroke Grove. Beware of movies where the synopsis and the auteur's explanation of why he had to make the movie fill up six pages of the press kit! If it ain't on the screen, fergeddit! The plot (such as it is) revolves around a street person named Clint who resolves to find a pair of shoes so he can get a job as a waiter. This 105-minute odyssey takes place among a low-life crowd from which Clint is trying to escape. Unless aristocratic cheekbones make you go weak in the knees, no one emerges as a character you can care about one way or the other. Most of the film's few laughs were for a pudgy bit player who's obsessed by Elvis Presley and when a bit player overshadows the so-called leading characters, you KNOW the script is in trouble. There's also a character who swallows prescription drugs by the handful and ingests harder drugs in an assortment of grisly ways, but I can't tell you much else about her. Jon Pertwee's son Sean plays a tiny role as a gullible German tourist along with Pippa Hinchley, who starred in a Fergie and Andrew movie in the fall of 1992. Roshan Seth is wasted in an ill-defined, peripheral role, and poor Gordon (My Beautiful Laundrette) Warnecke is seen briefly as a sort of a henchman. London Kills Me? No, but this movie did, all 105 minutes of it.

1991 (R) 105m/C GB Justin Chadwick, Steven Mackintosh, Emer McCourt, Roshan Seth, Fiona Shaw, Brad Dourif, Gordon Warnecke, Sean Pertwee, Pippa Hinchley; D: Hanif Kureishi; W: Hanif Kureishi; C: Edward Lachman. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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