The Business

UK, 2005
Director: Nick Love
Starring: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Geoff Bell, Georgina Chapman
IMDB: 6.5

Having reviewed a drug dealer movie from Brazil just a few weeks back (My Name isn't Johnny), this is the UK version based in sun-soaked Gibraltar in the 1980's.

While movies about drug-dealers seem to follow a fairly predictable storyline, they're almost always a good watch, and this is no exception. There are limey gangster types, rampant drug use, overt sexuality, brutal violence, explicit language, drug-deals, and a quite astounding soundtrack. All good adult stuff!

The film benefits from not being overly slick and glamorous like Hollywood movies can be, which results in believable characters and situations. Whether this realism is due to design, budget restraints or the inimitable lo-fi British acting style is up for debate - but it works here.

Frankie, played by Danny Dyer, is a rather unlikely gangster, who gets introduced to playboy and dealer Charlie (Tamer Hassan) through a friend. Charlie is in partnership with his old school buddy, and raving psycho Sammy (Geoff Bell), who has a hot (and hot to trot) girlfriend Carly (played by model Georgina Chapman).

As Frankie becomes more trusted by Charlie, he starts playing a bigger role in the business, earning the enmity of psycho Sam. It doesn't help that his girlfriend Carly is making it fairly clear she's keen for a fuck. A dangerous prospect at best. And as they progress from weed to cocaine deals the stakes become higher and more volatile.

The film moves along at a good pace and is constantly entertaining, moving seamlessly between action, suspense and humour. Although the humour is of the ironic British style, and a knowledge of british colloquialisms would be a bonus - like when the middle-age wives see the sexy, young Carly walk past ... "Uh look at it. CUNT. Ain't got a bit o' class. Thinks she's the bollocks ..."

But what I am truly astounded by is the soundtrack. How on earth did they get this many great songs into one movie? Wouldn't that have cost more than the movie itself? Sure, its all British music from the 80's - as befits the film's time and location - but the selection is impressive. Maybe because its a British film, the British musicians gave 'em a deal. If so, good work, because if there is one trump card the British film industry holds, it is the wealth of great British music they can draw on.

Just check out some of the songs included ...

David Bowie "Modern Love"
Roxy Music "Avalon"
The Cult "Wildflower"
Simple Minds "Don't you forget about me"
The Knack "My Sharona"
Blondie "Heart of Glass" and "Call Me"
Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Welcome to the Pleasuredome"
Duran Duran "Planet Earth"
Talk Talk "It's My Life"
Flock of Seagulls "I ran"

Rating: 7/10

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