Night and the City – The Contract (Film Review)

Rating:

The Contract originally titled “Squat” is a would be hard hitting British thriller from “The big I am” director Nic Auerbach with a script by Die Hard 4.0 writer David Marconi and Bo Bickle tells the story of two people from totally different backgrounds coming together to face the horrors of London’s underworld and underclass.

Erica/Zoe (Sarah Armstrong), when we are first introduced to her she’s singing “Blue Moon” in a pub when a violent incident takes place. The young lip pierced woman who amid the bloody chaos runs off with a bag of money a motley crew of east end crims who come in all shapes and sizes grab her but after the gangsters car is involved in a crash. Erica escapes with her life but no memories.

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She meets with second lead Nick Dayton (Robert Fucilla) a high flying career focused dodgy banker who arrives home to find his mansion full of squatters, which Erica happens to be with his address tattooed on her and both have connections to Roy (Danny Webb) a possessive polio affected villain with mother issues.

The film which mostly takes place over one night has a strong visual look. director of photography Franz Pagot uses coloured lighting along with fluid camera work to show London. With its mix of the glass buildings were masters of the universe make money on the stock exchange to the kinds of dank places where people get tortured for not paying off their debts or affected by drugs.

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While Sarah Armstrong gives a good performances as a troubled person, who has faced true horror in her lifetime from a young age, Fucilla’s Nick is a bland leading man that has no screen presence there are attempts to show he’s a damaged character. Badly brought down by a lack of narrative cohesion and jumbled final act is a watchable but unmemorable movie.

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The DVD which is available to buy from Asda,Tesco’s and HMV only extra feature is a 18 minute behind the scenes featurette from key cast and crew members who discuss the film’s production and how the project came together is also available streaming online through VOD services.

 

2 / 5

 

Dir: Nick Auerbach

Scr: Bo Bickle

Starring: Robert Fucilla, Sarah Armstrong, Danny Webb, Patrick Ryecart

Prd: Dean Fisher, Robert Fucilla, 

DOP: Franz Pagot

Music: Erran Baron Cohen

Country: UK

Year: 2016

Run time: 90 mins