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Concrete Plans Main

Concrete Plans Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Signature Entertainment

article-cover

Written and Directed by Will Jewell
2020, 91 minutes, Rated 18
UK Digital Release on 23rd December 2020

Starring:
Goran Bogdan as Viktor
Kevin Guthrie as Simon
James Lance as Richard
Chris Reilly as Jim

Review:

A simple renovation job goes awry when a posh landowner tries to stiff his contractors out of a paycheque. What Simon (Kevin Guthrie) doesn't take into account is the viciousness of his hired hands; particularly dodgy Jim (Chris Reilly) and creepy underling Steve (Charley Palmer Rothwell). In spite of his colleagues' more honourable attempts to de-escalate the situation, Jim hatches a plan to get himself paid. And he will get paid, no matter who he has to throw under the bus. Or whatever other industrial goods there are to hand.

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Class warfare gets literal in this grimy British thriller by director Will Jewell. Simon and girlfriend Amy (Amber Rose Revah) don't set out to offend, but they're brutally condescending to the builders, vuglar with their money, and set ridiculous boundaries. Naturally, this makes Bob and his crew – Dave, Viktor, Jim and Steve – less than forgiving when Simon is unable to pay his bills. It's Auf Wiedersehen, Pet crossed with Parasite.

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This bare-bones, character-driven thriller is not a terribly original one, but it makes up for its occasional predictability with a strong cast and taut screenplay. As the only reasonable people in the room, Goran Bogdan, Steve Speirs and William Thomas keep the ensuing atrocities plausible... even as others keep escalating matters. It's rare to see a genre movie all about working-class regular Joes (see also: Cannibals and Carpet Fitters), and Spiers delivers a revelatory performance as the site foreman; a good man, watching a life of hard work and graft count for nothing as the shit hits the fan.

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Concrete Plans has more than just money on its mind, and raises matters of race too, in some of the lads' hostility to Ukranian Viktor (Bogdan). It's a low-budget British thriller for our times, without making it all about Brexit.

This is a confident feature debut for the film's writer and director, recalling early Coen Brothers and Danny Boyle. It may not be the most original thing out there, but, when executed well, the simple plans can also make for the most effective.

Grades:

Movie: 3.5 Star Rating Cover
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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Writer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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