Borrowed Time is the debut feature by writer/director Jules Bishop, who sees hapless teen Kevin (Theo Barklem-Biggs) try and pay off a local psycho, ‘Ninja’ Nigel (Warren Brown). In his efforts, he decides to rob a grumpy old recluse Philip, (Phil Davies) but an unlikely friendship develops between the two.
UK urban dramas tend to concentrate on the hard times of everyday people, with the focus on controversial topics such as inner-city violence, petty crime and delinquency. Various films in recent years, such as Harry Brown (2009) and This is England (2006), have defined particular themes when it comes to the genre . Even though these urban dramas brings home the fear of what has become known as ‘broken Britain’, the realism behind the concept makes them a key genre for relatively new filmmakers.
However, Borrowed Time manages to keep its sense of humour, allowing its wit to soften some of the harsh subject matter of the film. As a result, the social difficulties of its settings do not overshadow the key aspect of the film – the friendship between Clint Eastwood fan Philip and gullible Kevin. Without falling into the cliches of a generational comedy, Bishop ensures the realism remains throughout their interactions – ranging from distrust to mutual understanding.
With its likability overshadowing the dark side of UK urban drama, Borrowed Time is a refreshing change. Its comedic elements and charm from both Barklem-Biggs and Davies shapes it into a great British independent film.
Borrowed Time is out in UK cinemas on Friday 16th August.
Writer/Director: Jules Bishop
Stars: Philip Davis, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Juliet Oldfield