Convenience (15) | Close-Up Film Review
Dir. Keri Collins, UK, 2015, 87 mins, English
Cast. Ray Panthaki, Vicky McClure, Adeel Akhtar
It stars Ray Panthaki as Ajay (Eastenders, 28 Days Later and Ali-G Indahouse) and Adeel Akhtar (Pan from 2015 and Channel 4’s Utopia). This film begs the question: what is the worst that could happen when a robbery goes wrong?
There is a warmth from the film that can be described as taking an incredibly simple concept and doing its very best to pull from it a witty nights adventure for the onscreen duo as their foolhardy plan goes awry.
As the clock counts down and the pair attempts to stick to yet another foolhardy plan – at this point audiences should wonder why the original plan was ever a viable option – when everything for them up until this point was far from convenient, over the course of a six-hour period the two attempt to control the situation. To this then the BAFTA-winning director Keri Collins then throws into the mix two gun-wielding Russian mobsters, BB-Guns and a mysterious postcard. What does a film like this entail?
There are many positives to be taken from the film. Essentially, Convenience is a tale of loss when more than money is taken; there is a strong moral that to be learnt. This can be specifically referenced in Akhtar’s Shaan character that must learn to trust himself and believe in his own ability to stand on his own two feet in the absence of Ajay. With Vicky McClure (star of Channel 4’s This is England) as Levi also in a secondary starring role, the confined setting of the film’s sequences seems all the more tolerable as the film quickly unfolds, the pair becoming a topic comedy trio.
A film not without it’s faults, audiences should not forget that Convenience is not only a recipient of a BAFTA Cymru Award for Collins as a Breakthrough Talent, but that it is a very clever film. Filmed over 18 nights in a single location, the Welsh petrol station in which the entirety of the film’s 87 minutes are located, Convenience also features a number of cameos, including Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a man attempting to commit suicide and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me in Austin Powers) as a customer affected by small-man syndrome. This small budget film plays out as a highly improbably, bizarrely touching tale of friendship, trust, loyalty and lack of basic common sense which should more than satisfy a British clientele.
And what’s all the drama you may be wondering – when slightly dim Shaan inadvertently enters a high end strip joint in the hopes of finding a quiet spot to read his book – he accidentally ends up racking up an impressive £8,000 bill which he has no way of paying back.
It has to be seen to be believed!
Review by Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark
Convenience is released nationwide from October 2nd.