Greenwich Mean Time

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Four years on, South London school chums are trying to make it in the music biz. They fight. They respond to tragedy and disappointment. They grow up a little. The selfish ones don't feel the pain, unless it affects them personally. The others suffer for their craft, or their passion, or because of misunderstandings. It's tough out there. What else is new?

Simon Mirren's script develops an uncompromising attitude towards disability and sex. On the one hand it attempts stark realism (life in a wheelchair sucks) and on the other takes pleasure in squashing romanticism (guys are workaholics, not love machines). Some of the dialogue has wistful poetic phrasing, which sits crudely on the school-dreams-are-crap message that filters through the death of idealism sub-plot.

The young cast is mustard. Alec Newman has the look of Ewan McGregor in Shallow Grave and Ben Waters, as the shy trumpeter who chucks the band and drifts into drugs, is impressive. This debut film from director John Strickland has the feel of a TV drama. The relationships are messy, the sentiment in-your-face. When the band, GMT, play their first gig, it is outstanding, mainly due to the vocalist, who is not one of the friends. Her name is Hinda Hicks. She blows everyone away.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Ensemble drama about school chums trying to make it in the music business.
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Director: John Strickland

Writer: Simon Mirren

Starring: Steve John Shepherd, Alec Newman, Ben Waters, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anjela Lauren Smith, Georgia Mackenzie

Year: 1999

Runtime: 117 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/US

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