Set in 1970’s Glasgow, Neds is a film directed by Peter Mullan, which focuses on a young boy named John McGill (Conor McCarron) who falls into the category of Non-Educated Delinquents. It’s a classification that John, who’s smart and likable, struggles to circumvent until mean, visceral humiliation from local bully Kanta propels him away from study and into the sphere of influence of his card-carrying Ned big brother Benny (Joe Szula).
The film is incredibly gripping, honest to the point of brutality, and it leaves you with a lasting impression that will stay with you for years to come. Its pacing is particularly strong and its characters are surprisingly well developed – not least the bullies!
What’s more, the film was shot on fine grain colour 16mm stock that is reminiscent of film stocks used in 1970’s films. The resulting image is spotless and the cinematography is excellent.
Scripted by Mullan and partially based on his own experiences in street gangs, the film’s subject matter is not new to this genre, but it offers an intriguing angle of a Scottish teen that’s rarely seen on the big screen. The result is an impressively compelling and powerful film that should be appreciated by all fans of Mullan’s work.
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