Swerves away from the lovable gangster cliche

If being able to relate and sympathise with the characters is a vital part of your ability to enjoy a film, then London To Brighton won’t be up your street.

The contrast between innocence and brutality is the central theme here as runaway child Joanna (played with wide-eyed terror by Georgia Groome) is drawn into a world of gangsters, pimps and prostitutes. Experienced street prostitute Kelly (Lorraine Stanley) conspires with her pimp Derek (Johnny Harris) to provide an underage sexual partner for gang leader Duncan (Alexander Morton). Joanna is their target.

London To Brighton swerves away from the lovable gangster that has become a mainstay of recent British cinema, opting instead for the stark realism of Nil By Mouth or Naked with a topic similar to, if far more accomplished than, Hard Candy. With strong performances all round and some depressingly naturalistic shots, London To Brighton’s intensity provides the cinematic equivalent of a swift kicking by strangers.

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