Don’t let the title of this film put you off, with a name like Honeytrap you could be fooled into thinking it’s one of those fluffy bunny type love stories that just seem to be made for the sake of it. This is far from it; this is nothing but a hard-hitting true story that will have you crying for the youth of today.
This story follows a young girl, Layla (Jessica Sula), who has been living in Trinidad and has now returned to her estranged Mother in Brixton. Faced with a new life, where things are strange to her she decides to change who she is to fit in. After falling for the extremely handsome bad boy singer Troy (Lucien Laviscount), she gets sucked into being treated badly, but love proves to be blind as she follows him around like a lovesick puppy which only aids in her mistreatment and ultimately a tragic outcome.
This story is based on the real-life murder which made the headlines back in 2008, where a vulnerable and naive young girl was used in order to lure her ex-boyfriend into a situation with her older boyfriend and his gang as a trap. Whilst slightly twisting the story, it still sets out to portray how, in order for our youth of today to feel part of something, feel they need to do whatever it takes to fit into their surrounding environment. The pressure of her peers and the need to feel accepted are all too strong to dismiss in this story.
Apart from the lead character of Layla, it does play on the stereotypes of our “urban” youth, how much research was undertaken in order to incorporate the personality traits of the real life people this story was based on you can’t help wonder! You can’t think that maybe some of these characters may have been sensationalised to fit in with the idea of what we think and understand about young people from this background.
Jessica Sula (who you will recognise from Skins) really does shine is this role, her vulnerability and need for acceptance not just from her mother but those around her seem to ooze out of every pore of her body, her portrayal just seems effortless and so believable. It’s obvious she was pretty much made for this role or the role was certainly made for her. The rest of the cast however just seemed to fade into insignificance, a part from Lucien Laviscount (and that was only because he was extremely pleasing to the eye) I can’t say I really remember much about them.
Having said all that though, Honeytrap is a smart, moving and emotional film which keeps you engaged from beginning to end. It’s great to finally have an “urban” film that feels natural and doesn’t go over the top in its storytelling.