I remember the last time I went to the wonderful Showcase cinema or more to the point, any cinema, was to watch the juggernaut that is called TDKR. 
But thinking back that isn't entirely accurate because I did go to see the film Danny Devito voiced "The Loraxx" which was a good film but not great. 
"What's great" you ask? Come closer, there's more... 
 
The film starts off with the star of the film and his girlfriend who's pregnant with his baby. They look in love, young and very happy. 
 
We are not told about the young guys' occupation but we do see his girlfriend at work, she is based in a probation office where she's an officer. 
 
Fast forward to a day when the streets are filled with "de yut dem" during the London riots that started 2 days after the Police killed Mark Duggan, they said he was armed and fired off some shots at them (even though no weapon has ever been found or a policeman been charged). Some of the actors in the film state that the riots kicked off due to 'The Authorities' not answering the direct questions from the Family of Mark Duggan and the community at large, regarding why he was gunned down in his car, on the street in broad daylight, (his Mother says he was assassinated) please also do not forget that by the time you will be reading this Mark's dad would have died suddenly with no real fanfare). 
 
(Link to the news report about Mark Duggan
 
We then see the star of the film being surrounded by police officers and a short time later he is seen in a young offender’s institution serving time for assaulting two officers. 
 
At this time in the film we are not privy to knowing what caused him to lose his composure, however while watching this film you are shown the reasons why he ends up inside and once inside he wants revenge. 
 
Whilst watching this film late in the evening I was struck by how many young people of varying races was in the cinema watching, no, relating to this film. Some if not all looked "typical" in their appearance but all went quiet when they saw something gruesome depicted on screen (and I mean everyone). 
This was not just a film about young people in Prison; it was similar to the 1970s film that introduced us to a young Ray Winstone called “Scum”. This film also explained how the young Ray would have ended up in the Prison in the first place. 
 
Watching the various young actors do their thing on screen, it didn't appear to be a film, rather a reality/fly on the wall documentary showing life for those who do not have it. 
 
There are a few stand out lines in this film but the one that stood out the most for me was "if you treat people like animals then don't be surprised if they behave like one!" which is so true. 
 
With mass unemployment and adverts on MTV constantly telling us what we need to be wearing/smelling/liking, it's no surprise that the people at the bottom of the ladder when given the choice do a little (what do we call it now), "Retail Therapy". Remember, capitalism creates the desire (read more here
 
The ending is brutal and for me predictable however, like a moth drawn to a light, I, just like the rest of the audience was drawn to the screen watching the characters become totally destroyed by their actions while in Prison, which made me ask this pertinent question: is Prison a place where we rehabilitate the person, punish or both? 
 
From my personal experience I’ve noticed that there is a gulf between the young disadvantaged and the privileged few, which is forever widening until the chasm is too wide for even the likes of Evel Knievel to cross on his jet propulsion bike! 
 
Watch this film if you dare, care, or want to stare.... 
 
gman 
Strategist 
ZeN Journalist 
Twitter: @gmanzen 
"what's the 411?" 
Soon there was www.ZeN411.co.uk 
you know it makes sense........
 

Article by @gmanzen / 13th August 2012

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REVIEW: The Offender