Reviews

Awaydays

2

A fresh look at the football hooligan culture in the '70s

Set in ’70s Liverpool, Pat Holden’s film tells of a bored teenager (Nicky Bell) who, having befriended the charismatic Elvis (Liam Boyle) at an Echo & The Bunnymen gig, falls in with his pack of football ‘casuals’.

Cue much Stanley knife-related mayhem, homoerotic tension and some Trainspotting-style heroin taking to the strains of such post-punk icons as Magazine, The Cure and Joy Division.

Alas, being based on Kevin Sampson’s 10-year-old cult novel doesn’t stop this being a pale facsimile of Shane Meadows’ masterly This Is England, a likeness that’s only heightened by the presence of Stephen Graham as gang leader John.

To its credit, Awaydays does not glamorise its hooligans the way The Football Factory and Green Street did. Even so, given its fascination with their Adidas trainers, green cagoules, drainpipe jeans and wedge haircuts, it does come perilously close to fetishising them.

Neil Smith
 

Film Details

User Reviews

    • penguinlover

      Jan 10th 2010, 9:20

      5

      While the Total review reads well, it misses the point that if you take Awaydays for what it's supposed to be, it is good to watch, and on second viewing it is brilliant. The only real flaw is the main character needed a bit of beefing up - but apart from that, it perfectly captures the atmos and mood of the time and place, which is exactly what it set out to do. Incidentally, if you found this film even remotely entertaining, then another film from a Sampson book, 'The Crew', is the best Brit gangster flick since Layer Cake - I'd give it 6 stars if only it was featured on this site!

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