Having Sky plused(amazing how language evolves with technology eh?) Green Street a couple of months back and heard mixed reviews ranging from “BEST FILM EVER!!!” to “a load of rubbish, waste of time…” I decided to give it a glance and make my own mind up. I knew it dealt with football hooligans so as a football fan who’s travelled to matches in England , I had an immediate interest in the subject matter. What I didn’t know was well shot, well acted and generally moving the Lexi Alexander project was.
I think one reason why I liked this film so much was the simplicity of the story. All too often films are hindered by overly-complex twists and turns in the plot. Green Street runs from start to finish without any real shocking revelation or flashback and still manages to be gripping throughout.
Similarly to films such as Train Spotting and Snatch, Green Street focuses on the criminal underbelly of working class Britain. Elijah wood is decent in his role as Matt Buckner the “Yank” who gets accepted into the Green Street Elite, a violent gang/”firm” of West Ham Utd. supporters who pride themselves on their reputation of vicious fighters. The senselessness of the violence is captured perfectly by the lack of genuine interest in football, it is just a convenient medium for the characters to satisfy their need for anarchy.
Loyalty, bravery, friendship and family are key themes throughout. Alexander doesn’t hold back in the fight scenes either, portraying a degree of violence that definitely won’t appeal to everybody. While the violence may be somewhat glamorised and exaggerated at points you get a sense that the film isn’t too detached from reality. Green Street certainly isn’t one for the faint-hearted or easily offended but is worth watching if only for the stunning performance of Charlie Hunnam as Pete, the firm leader. As for me, I give this one a thumbs up, or as the boys in the GSE might say, “I facking loved it mate”!