Brotherhood (2016 film)

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Brotherhood
Directed byNoel Clarke
Produced byNoel Clarke
Jason Maza
Written byNoel Clarke
StarringNoel Clarke
Stormzy
Bashy
Olivia Chenery
David Ajala
Jason Maza
Music byTom Linden
CinematographyAaron Reid
Edited byTommy Boulding
Production
company
Unstoppable Entertainment
Distributed byLionsgate (UK)
Release date
  • 29 August 2016 (2016-08-29)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Brotherhood is a 2016 British drama film written, directed by and starring Noel Clarke.[2] It is the sequel to Adulthood, and is the third and final instalment of the Hood trilogy. It was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.[3]

Plot[edit]

Ten years after the events of Adulthood, Sam has now settled down. He has a partner, Kayla, and two kids, one from a previous relationship with Lexi who has died. He is on much better terms with his mother, Mrs. Peel, and brother Royston and has also befriended Alissa, who now has a teenage daughter from her relationship with the late Trevor 'Trife' Hector, whom Sam killed in Kidulthood. Now Sam has four jobs and also works out at a local gym. One day when he arrives, he overhears a girl describe to the owner how she was attacked by someone called 'Mooks.' The owner pulls out a gun, sees Sam listening in and closes the door.

Royston is in a band with Henry. One night, when they're playing a gig, a gunman, Drew, enters the venue and non-fatally shoots Royston on orders. Before he escapes in a Jeep, Drew leaves an envelope addressed to Sam next to Royston. Sam visits Alissa with some money for her daughter. Alissa, who has forgiven Sam, says they must soon tell Trife's daughter, who sees Sam as a family friend, what happened to Trife.

Sam visits Royston in the hospital and sees their mother there. She asks Sam to bring the grandchildren to see her soon. Afterwards, Sam learns from Henry that it wasn't an accident, as told earlier. Henry gives Sam the envelope. It contains an address with instructions for Sam to go there. Sam asks Henry to come with him, but Henry refuses.

On his way home, Sam bumps into a mystery lady, who "accidentally" spills coffee on him. She invites Sam to her flat to make amends and seduces him. They have sex, but unbeknownst to Sam, their interlude is being taped. Sam heads home, discovers he is being followed, and attacks the mystery man. While they grapple, the Jeep that facilitated gunman Drew's escape pulls up. Out comes Melvin (AKA 'Hugs'). When he hugs assailants, he knifes them for crossing him or his friends. Hugs pledges to cut Sam and also threatens his family. If Sam fails to go to the address in the envelope, more people will get hurt.

Sam arrives at the place, a lavish property in a well-to-do area. He sees the man that he originally assaulted and jumps him again. Sam gains access to the house but finds he is outnumbered. After an initial beating, a man named Daley intervenes. He is a successful criminal, who works for a notorious Kingpin known as 'Mooks'. He shows Sam around the house and it's clear he runs drugs and high-end prostitution. Daley offers Sam a job, but he refuses. Daley then directs Sam to a basement room in the house where he meets up with Curtis, Trife's uncle. The two have a long-standing feud because Sam killed Trife and also set up Curtis for a 10-year stretch. Curtis is now out and tells Sam he's after revenge - not just against Sam, but also his family, despite Sam telling Curtis that he wants no trouble and just intends to live his life. After an initial struggle Sam leaves the property. He is caught on the street by Drew and some of Daley's other young thugs. Drew tells Sam that he's the one who shot Royston. In the nick of time, Henry turns up to help Sam escape. Hugs stabs one of the kids who let Sam get away as a warning to those who fail him.

As Sam and Henry escape, Sam realizes his family is in danger. He phones Kayla to suggest she take the kids to her mother's for the night, as he has to prepare for a job interview. Back with Kayla Sam finds out that a DVD of his sexual encounter with the mystery lady was delivered to his home. Sam protests that he was set up, but Kayla walks out. Sam reaches out for help to his old volunteer PC friend Desmond 'Buds' Lynch, now a detective. Buds and a colleague go to the address where Sam was, but Daley belittles and threatens them for not having a warrant.

Curtis phones Sam, to further frighten him and his family. After the threatening call, Daley is furious that Sam has contacted the police and orders Curtis to speed things up by spilling the blood of Sam's family. Instead, Curtis and Hugs secretly conspire to kill Daley and take over the operation. Sam's mother is returning home when she sees a girl being attacked. The assailants promptly run away so Mrs. Peel helps the girl, Janette, into her flat. Janette claims she was robbed, but she still has her mobile phone and uses it to text someone. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peel calls Sam and tells him what's happening. Sam senses something amiss and asks Mum to describe the girl. After a brief description Mrs. Peel ends the call as the doorbell rings. Sam knows something is definitely wrong here and heads to the flat. Mrs. Peel asks Janette, the same girl who seduced Sam and works for Daley, not to open the door, but she lets in Curtis and Hugs. They threaten Mrs. Peel for what Sam has done, then Hugs pushes her off the balcony to her death. The police try to restrain a devastated Sam, but he attacks them and then is arrested. After Buds interrogates him, Sam is released without charge. He arranges and attends his mother's funeral and wake. Royston tells Sam that his fiancée is pregnant and they plan to move to America. After Sam and Kayla have sex following the funeral, she makes it clear that she and the kids are not coming home until Sam ends his involvement with Curtis and Daley.

Sam, vowing to kill Curtis and Daley, breaks into the gym planning to steal a gun he had spotted during his workout. The owner of the gym, named "Brick", catches and interrogates Sam, thinking he works for Mooks. Once Sam explains his intentions, Brick reveals that Mooks raped his little sister Sariya. Since then, he and his partner Calvin have been searching for Mooks to get revenge. They let Sam go and he again enlists Henry to help him. Henry has been lying to his partner to excuse time away from her and his son, who he wrongly thinks is not his. Henry tracks one of Daley's henchman to a café run by Sam's employer Hassan. With Hassan's help he learns where to find some of Daley's other henchmen. Meanwhile, Sam goes to a party and meets more of Daley's people, who direct him to a play-park. After taking some 'tools' from Henry's car, Sam goes to the play-park. Drew is there, getting a blowjob from a girl while two of his friends look on. Sam assaults Drew with a nail-gun until he tells Sam where Curtis and Daley are. Elsewhere, one of Drew's thugs, Yardz, threatens Henry with a hammer. Henry successfully persuades Yardz to change his life and walk away from involvement with Mooks.

Sam gathers some help, including Hassan, Henry, Brick, Sariya and Calvin, and goes to Daley's estate, where he finds both Hugs and Daley. Sam and his people storm the house, as armed police approach the scene. Heading upstairs, Sam finds a locked penthouse door and Janette outside. He knocks her out for everything she's done to help Daley and then kicks down the door. Meanwhile, Daley has known all along that Curtis and Hugs have been planning to double-cross him, so he stabs Hugs, killing him. When Sam gains entry to the penthouse, he finds Hugs' body and Daley gone. Sam pulls the knife from Hugs; just as the police arrive and find him there. The rest of Sam's crew have fled, but everyone left in the house - Sam, the prostitutes and the rest of Daley's men - are all arrested.

Buds exerts his influence to exonerate Sam as the suspect for Hugs' murder, in return for his giving up Curtis, Daley and Mooks. Sam calls Curtis to arrange a meeting and settle this once and for all. They meet seemingly alone at an abandoned location to fight to the death. Sam overcomes Curtis and wrestles a gun from him. Instead of killing him as agreed, he empties the rounds from the clip, leaves the gun and bullets on the floor next to Curtis and walks away. Wounded, Curtis gets to his feet, picks up the gun, and loads a single bullet, but before he can shoot Sam, armed police gun him down and Sam goes back to confront Curtis. As he dies, Curtis manages to tell Sam where Daley is.

Sam tracks Daley to a flat where he's filled a bag with millions of pounds, ready to escape. To stop him from leaving, Sam switches on the light, revealing Brick, Sariya and Calvin. They unmask Daley as Mooks, the real boss, the one who had beaten and raped Sariya. Sam confronts Mooks for his actions, grabs the bag from him and leaves. Brick pulls out a pistol and silencer and shoots Mooks dead.

Safely away, Sam divides up the money with everyone who helped him get revenge on Curtis, Drew and Mooks. There's money for Royston and Alissa, too. Now strolling through a shopping mall with Kayla and the kids, Sam encounters Buds. The detective says Sam will get no more help from him but affirms they're still friends, warning him to stay out of trouble. As the family walks off, Sam tells Kayla, "It's done."

Cast[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Brotherhood has received a mixed critical response. Writing in The Guardian, Wendy Ide praised Clarke's direction and performance, but "Clarke goes and spoils it all by using naked women as set dressing and cramming the frame with flash gangster cliches, which rather undermines the anti-aspirational message of the film".[4] Terri White of Empire praised Clarke's uncompromising portrayal of inner city life, but criticized Maza's performance and that, "Clarke can’t avoid employing the third-in-a-trilogy tropes: one last job/reformed guy helps new guy who is essentially him/grossly unfair family tragedy as his three-parter reaches its too-neat conclusion".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brotherhood (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Noel Clarke to complete Kidulthood trilogy with Brotherhood". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Brotherhood". TIFF. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  4. ^ Ide, Wendy (28 August 2016). "Brotherhood review – powerfully mature". Retrieved 27 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  5. ^ White, Terri. "Brotherhood (2016)". Retrieved 27 January 2017.

External links[edit]