This really is Charlie Creed-Miles film, a television actor that you may have seen in various feature films, including Nil by Mouth (1997) Essex Boys (2000) and Harry Brown (2009), normally playing supporting roles. In Dexter Fletcher’s debut film he takes the lead role playing Bill Haywood known in his East London locale as Wild Bill (2011). After serving eight years for various crimes involving thuggery and drug dealing he returns to his tower block council home to find his two young sons, fifteen year old Dean, played by Son of Rambow (2008) star Will Poulter, and eleven year old Jimmy, Sammy Williams in his debut feature film, living on there own after their mother had done a bunk to Spain nine months ago with her latest boyfriend. On his release Bill had planned to move up to Scotland to join a mate but discovers that if he does not remain to look after the boys they will end up in care. At first Bill goes through the motions pretending to be the dotting Dad for the sake of the social workers (Jaime Winstone and Jason Flemying) and his own probation officer (Olivia Williams) before realising that he actually cares for the boys and really needs to stay to keep both of them on the straight and narrow especially the younger of the two who is already a runner for the local gang of drug dealers. It’s this gang of villains who realise that having Wild Bill back on the manor is just not on!
|Bill with his youngest son played by Sammy Williams.|
Not only has Fletcher directed this ‘western’ set in modern day Newham he also co-wrote it along with novelist Danny King an ex-editor of Paul Raymond’s Mayfair magazine and some one who had his own problems with the law in a previous life. This is a well written and well acted film especially Creed-Miles who makes Wild Bill a very believable character not only playing the hard case villain but developing as a completely credible parent. Witness his speech to his youngest son when he discovers that Jimmy is sinking deeper in to the world of crime. Also big pat on the back for the young Sammy William’s who could have a very bright future in the acting profession. Filmed and set during the building of the Olympic Park which is used to great effect as a backdrop. Head and shoulders above many other British gangster movies it’s told with feeling and successfully evocates the atmosphere of a serious social reality drama but with a big dollop of humour. Extremely well crafted by Fletcher and his Director of Photography George Richmond, I would highly recommend this film and it will be interesting to see where Dexter Fletcher goes from here?
|Son of Rambow star Will Poulter plays Dean Haywood.|