Set across two time periods, No More Wings feels like a modern-day relic. It offers a swift look at life in the suburbs of London: the slang, the music, and Morley’s chicken shop take centre stage. And the story is simple. Two childhood friends, Isaac and Jude, meet at Morley’s to catch up on the years gone by, and clearly, they’re diverging in different paths. This short film explores the change in friendships and how the minor details of people’s personalities stay the same over time – and it shows flexibility in tone, combining light-heartedness with real relationship drama.

Adeyemi’s handling of what is potentially a dry subject is well controlled and entirely deliberate. No More Wings tells the story of two friends who have essentially outgrown each other but are still trying to keep the old magic alive. Treading back and forth in past and present, we see that Jude has stuck to his word of never leaving the ends. Isaac, however, has other ideas. He’s bought a house and is moving to East London. It’s this indifference that hangs over both characters as they dine on fried chicken. Through showing Jude as an unfilled talent who’s become stagnant in life, the film is able to explore the dynamics of the community, how the past has an irreversible link to the future, and the importance of moving forward, while staying true to your roots.

All of this is carried by strong performances and smart writing that feels sparse, and unhurried. While there’s nothing particularly exciting about No More Wings, Adeyemi managers to infuse a deeper sense of meaning while leaning into light banter between the two protagonists. It’s the comic angle of No More Wings that allows it to be far more easy-going than other films about growing up in London. However, it certainly feels like more could have been done to make No More Wings truly memorable. What it does do very well, though, is portray two characters, who are grounded in their city, and boldly tap into the mundanities of everyday life. No More Wings is a fine watch – a bit slow in some places, but it’s great to see a filmmaker building on their voice – and creating a profound narrative with a shoe-string budget.

Dir: Abraham Adeyemi  

Prd: Abiola Rufai

Scr: Adeyemi

Cast: Ivanno Jeremiah, Parys Jordon, Joshua Cameron, Tyrus Mckenzie

DoP: Fiona Lamptey, Adeyemi

Country: United Kingdom

Year: 2020

Run Time: 10 minutes