Flavourmag.co.uk’s film editor Zehra Phelan sat down with Rizzle Kick’s Harley Sylvester and writer/director Gabe Turner for this exclusive interview on The Guvnor’s Movie.
Mitch (Doug Allen) was once part of a legendary South East London firm, where football hooliganism was just part of life, casual violence and intimidation was all he lived for.
Now, many years on, he is happily married, living a life of suited and booted normality in suburban London after turning his back on that life. Unfortunate for him that is until Adam (Harley Sylvester of UK hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks), the leader of a gang of youthful thugs from a London Housing estate, is put in his place by the godfather of the once notorious “Guvnors” Mickey (David Essex), by giving him a much deserved slap. This one little incident starts the spiral of violent revenge as the aging Guvnors reform in order to take out this jumped up little upstart. It’s a fight to the death as both sides set out to prove which gang is really the top dog of the manor, no matter what the cost.
There’s a long list of films that hit on the subject of hooliganism most set in their own categories, director/writer, Gabe Turner has successful managed to combine the violence from the old school football firms and the modern day bullying and thuggery from the poverished streets of ghetto London, held together with family feuds, a lacing of humour and above all a sense of loyalty and respect.
The storyline is intriguing but it is pretty basic and brainless and at times was overly drawn out and leaves you wanting it to just hurry up and move on. However this can be forgiven, when it comes to telling this story it doesn’t need to come wrapped in pretty bows and glitter. It’s raw and gritty and with the flashbacks to Mitch and the rest of The Guvnors in their hayday kicking the crap out of the other hardcore football fans just for the sake of having a good “ruck” it gives it that authentic feel.
The most impressive part of this film however is the acting quality of Harley Sylvester, I went into this film really not expecting anything from his performance. Pleasantly surprised is not the words to describe his deliverance of Adam’s character. I was actually mind blown. There’s an endless list of rappers/popstars who think they are good enough to star in a movie but boy are they delusional. Harley on the other hand may just have found his calling. Making a character believable to the point you want to give them a slap yourself is no mean feat I can tell you. Doug Allen as Mitch also brings that air of menace, yet proves he has heart. The rest of the cast, is full of British actors we know from TV and film such as Vas Blackwood, Richard Blackwood, David Essex, Martin Hancock however most of these guys just fade into the background.
While The Guvnor’s is a typical British film about hooliganism from the old school football terraces to the mean streets of modern day London, it has just the right amount of violence (well if your anything like me you like watching a good scrap) and heart with a twist I didn’t actually see coming.
The Guvnors is in cinemas 29th August 2014
Photos courtesy Craig Sugden Photography