Urban Shared: First Full Fan Review In – From Jaydall

This from Jaydall who #SharedUrban. Thanks!!!

So, where do I put my little ‘review’, Perry? I have just got back from the 4pm screening and didn’t wait to see if I could catch RA. But, I would agree with the 4/5 assessment. It might have seemed a little long because of the hard pews we were sitting on, LOL! It is a very smart little conversion with its own cafe where you pay whatever you want for coffee and cakes. It holds about 60, I would think. The director said that the chapel venue had been chosen for the premiere because the book was set in that area of Leeds.
The acting from everyone is very good indeed especially from Fraser Kelly who plays Urban. RA was totally magnetic and I thought it was wonderful that he played this scruffy character so convincingly. It must show what a very wide range he has and that he’s not just an action hero. There was a wonderful moment where he told the kids a story as they sat around a fire and I felt as totally absorbed as the young actors were pretending to be.
It is a very depressing story – more so than in the book, I felt, and they certainly don’t make out Chop to be a saviour. Both in the book and in the film I felt like giving him a good slap because he took so long to get his act together. But it is very gritty and very real and very honest.
This would make a very good TV drama and I hope a TV station picks it up if a distributor doesn’t. It is a very ‘local’ film with very strong accents and I somehow can’t see it doing well on the big screen (except in Yorkshire, LOL). I think that everyone involved should be proud of this production and I am interested in hearing more opinions.

15 thoughts on “Urban Shared: First Full Fan Review In – From Jaydall

  1. Thank you Jaydall and Perry for posting. I’ve woken up to all the excitement of photos and video snippets, and now this review. I’m glad you thought it worthy of a high rating – a terrific performance from RA was a given but I was getting a bit concerned that the film as a whole might fall a bit flat. For some reason I thought the LIFF was being held at a big cinema – or was it just UATSC screening at The Chapel? No wonder the tickets sold out so quickly with only 60 seats!


    • I think other films are in big theaters. They say they chose this as one venue because it’s in Leeds, but not sure of that. Tomorrow’s venue is a little over 300 capcity, I think.


    • As Perry says, the director of this Arts Centre said that they had chosen the venue because of its associations: the area is Chop’s old stomping ground. They also do a lot of work with the deprived children of East Leeds. It did seem very relevant when I was there. But I’m glad that it’s being shown in a larger venue and that the tickets sold within a day there too.


  2. Thanks, Jaydall, for posting your reaction. I think I’m actually glad it isn’t a feel-good movie because it shouldn’t be and would take away from the intended political message of the film. I wonder if the accents really do make it less mainstream? I hope it finds its intended audience, whatever that may be, and that I get to see it.


      • Perry, one thing I forgot to say is that RA interacts beautifully with the children (and the dog) in the film. He is so natural and so good with them and they respond so beautifully to him too. I’ve heard that, in the Q&A, he said the story-telling scenario should have been cut. No, silly, over-modest man! That was the best bit! He mesmerised the children and he mesmerised us. I even wonder if that was scripted or if Candida just asked him to tell a story. The children are so ignorant and they ask for a bedtime story almost as a joke – because it’s obvious they have never had a bedtime story before. And then he tells them an English myth – something that is part of their heritage – and they even learn where the name ‘Leeds’ comes from. They are totally drawn in by this very subtle piece of ‘education’.

        The accent, btw, is very thick and even though I have spent a lot of time in the Leeds area, I sometimes had a bit of trouble. But, I suppose that countries like Germany would dub this anyway: but they would have to help out Americans, too, I feel.


          • I’m guessing at a number of reasons. First, it is quite a long story and perhaps he thought it went on too long. Secondly, perhaps he thought it would bore the audience. (No!!) Thirdly, perhaps he thought it took the focus off the children and put too much on him. This is typical of his modesty, of course, and sometimes I could slap him, like him saying in his tweet yesterday that Bernard Hare is twice the man he is. (If you read the book, even BH has a low – and pretty accurate – estimate of himself and I would agree with that estimate, LOL, but I also admire his honesty – the one thing I do admire about him!) I would like to know exactly what he said at that Q&A.


    • I was worried that they would make it more uplifting and upbeat than the book. But, it stayed very true to the book and 98% of the film, I reckon, was very wretched. Chop only really gets his act together in the very last moments which is how life usually works out and Urban was very lucky that, in the end – in the very end – Chop was there for him.


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