Small Time Obsession
1999, cert 15, running time 119 minutes
Director: Piotr Szkopiak
When desire is not enough.
Michael (Alex King) has his heart set on training and racing greyhounds at his local stadium but he's under pressure from his father (Jurek Jarosz) to take charge of the family delicatessen. Chris (Jason Merrells) is an amiable wide-boy with his heart set on making money, no matter what it takes to get it. Steve (Oliver Young) is an orphan with a passion for classic cars. John (Richard Banks) is a talented musician struggling to come to terms with his depressed mother. These four friends are like brothers and as with any family, they fight, they argue, but they've always been governed by this inseparable bond that means they will stick together, no matter what happens.
Up until now Michael has quietly gone with the flow. He's helped out on the odd petty burglary, out of loyalty to his friend and as a means to earn some extra cash, but Chris's increasing criminal activities are beginning to scare him. When Chris hooks up with an established underworld villain, Geordie, for another small-time job he insists on dragging along Michael and the rest of his friends. Chris's criminal ambitions are escalating and Michael and the rest are reluctant to follow him into a life of crime. His feelings are further complicated by a secret infatuation with Ali (Juliette Caton), Chris' long-standing girlfriend.
When he overhears Ali telling Chris that she is pregnant and Chris denying his responsibilities, Michael reaches the point where he can take no more. Intent on saving both Ali and his friends from Chris's dangerous and threatening influence, Michael takes a stand after the job goes disastrously wrong. Not content with stopping there, he also reveals his love for Ali. Having dropped a bombshell into the heart of the group he has known all his life, he must now either stand his ground or walk away forever…
Starring Alex King, Jurek Jarosz, Oliver Young and Richard Banks.
"One damn fine piece of celluloid art, which keeps you interested, alert and often gripped by the headstrong actions of this group of second generation Polish youths trying to make their way in the big bad city of London ... thoroughly enjoyable and engaging."
Living Abroad Magazine
"A hit at the Cannes Film Festival, this rare insight into a significant foreign community in the capital also stands on its own as good entertainment."
London Tonight, Carlton Television
“…it’s a film with heart, and Szkopiak is a director to watch.”
The Guardian - 7 out of 10
Format: DVD PAL Region 0
More details: Small Time Obsession website.