A rare film: a thrilling British crime caper that avoids the clichés of the genre.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
- Director-Screenwriter Rowan Athale
- Producer Ed Barratt, Mark Foligno, Gareth Pritchard
- With Luke Treadaway, Timothy Spall, Iwan Rheon, Gerard Kearns, Matthew Lewis
- UK 2012
- 106 mins
- Sales Bankside Films
Sitting in a police interview room opposite coaxing, inquisitive cop DI West (Timothy Spall), Harvey Miller (Luke Treadaway) is bloodied, battered and beaten, accused of being part of a failed robbery and of attempted murder, and set to return to the prison he’s only come out of a month before. Yet as Miller tells his story of that month, of the spiteful injustice that saw him banged up, of the second chance he’s been given by girlfriend Nicola (Vanessa Kirkby) and, principally, of the unflinching loyalty displayed between him and his three mates, a different picture emerges. Set in Yorkshire, with a sharp script and lively, convincing performances from its young cast, Wasteland is the bold first feature from writer and director Rowan Athale. It is a rare thing, a British crime caper that avoids the clichés of the genre, emerging as inventive, funny and surprisingly touching.
If you were to give Wasteland a shorthand label you would, of course, call it a heist film. An entirely accurate description given that the narrative structure of the piece revolves around the conception, formulation and attempted execution of a robbery. I do, however, feel such a shorthand label could be self-limiting given where I feel the heart of the film lies. If I was asked what one thing Wasteland was about, I’d have to say friendship. By their nature, heist films are often facile with regard to the emotion and character they convey. Although a hugely loved genre, heist films can often be criticised as being frivolous and lacking in terms of the connection they foster with their audience. With Wasteland I wanted to make an appealing genre picture that utilised the conventions that make the genre so loved, but which is also unafraid to engage on an emotional level and speak to the heart of our audience.
Barnsley-born, he cut his teeth behind the camera by writing and directing commercials but made the jump into drama when he wrote and directed the acclaimed 25-minute short A Good Life, starring Daisy Haggard and Tom Harper. Under the banner of Mischief Films, the production company set up alongside producer Gareth Pritchard, he is in the early stages of development on two further feature projects. He was named as a Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow’ in June 2011.
2010 A Good Life [s]