by H. Thomas
‘the acting leaves much to be desired, without much emotion or feeling – it appears that the relationships between the characters have been overlooked in order to force in more action, such as the many free-running scenes’
Director: Martin Owen
Starring: Raff Law, Rita Ora, Lena Headey & Michael Caine
Synopsis: This modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist tells the story of orphan and graffiti artist, known by his surname of Twist, being taken into a gang of those similar to him, trying to do good for their leader, Fagin, using their criminal skills and knowledge. Twist has to assist his newfound family in enacting revenge on Fagin’s old art dealer partner, all while falling for Red, his fellow gang member, and trying to rescue her from the grasp of her abusive girlfriend and ringleader Sikes.
Review: When looking at the premise for this film, it certainly seems intriguing – a modern retelling of a much-loved story designed to tell of the lives of a group of orphans who become a family in spite of the way their lives have turned out. In a way, the plot is well-executed, with effortless diversity – changing the characters of Dodger and Sikes to women, as well as having both a gay and bisexual character, certainly makes for a more representative, up-to-date story. However, the acting leaves much to be desired, without much emotion or feeling – it appears that the relationships between the characters have been overlooked in order to force in more action, such as the many free-running scenes and unrealistic number of runs from the same policeman. Even with well-known, well-respected actors such as Michael Caine, the plot becomes jerky and all tension is removed as the plot appears to be sped up for the sake of getting to the ending. The decision to have the one gay couple in the movie as a toxic, abusive relationship also feels strange, as if Red “escaping” from Sikes and falling in love with Oliver has some underlying message. Overall, this film absolutely had the potential to be inspiring and representative, a perfect retelling to this generation of a classic story, but it ended up feeling rushed and incomplete, leaving an underwhelmed audience.
Twist is currently available on Sky Cinema and was rated 12 by the BBFC.